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Personality driven… real-people read. 
I'm not a gearhead, but more of a fan of how cars are becoming smarter, more comfor...
2009 Jaguar XF Review: Fusion Of Sports Car 
And Luxury Sedan 
The first of its breed, the 2009 Jaguar XF is an entirely d...
ivity, a rear camera, Jaguar Voice or Blind Spot Monitor. 
With its spacious cabin cushioned in buttery-soft leather, the ...
2009 Ford Flex Review: An Icon Gets Hip 
Fans of the minivan's convenience and roomy interior may find 
that the 2009 Ford...
properly equipped the Flex can tow watercraft, snowmobiles 
and trailers up to 4,000 pounds. Ford assures some of the best...
2008 BMW 128i Coupe Review: Cheeky And 
Aggressive, The Best Of Bavarian 
Hear the noise, feel the thunder, experience the...
roof, soft-touch dash plastics, cushy Leatherette seats and 
metallic or wood-grain trim, the rear buckets are almost usel...
2009 Pontiac Vibe Review: Softer Styling 
Houses Hotter Hatchback 
The restyled 2009 Pontiac Vibe is another vehicle benef...
you want it to. 
Five-speed manual transmission is standard, 4-speed automatic 
optional. Safety standards include Stabili...
2009 Nissan GT-R Review: Grace At High Speed 
Like a hand in glove, if there's a sports car that can hug the road 
while t...
style. Equally important is that airflow for power and cooling 
moves undisturbed. 
The Japanese automaker chose carbon fi...
2009 Mitsubishi Galant Review: Competitor 
On The Road And On Paper 
The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant is an especially value-pac...
view mirror with garage door opener/transmitter and more) add 
a large roster of premium equipment to the Galant Sport 
mo...
2008 BMW M3 Review: Fourth Generation 
Sports Two “Fast And Fun” Firsts 
With the 3 Series now in its fourth generation, t...
treatments. Optional adjustable-width backrests on the front 
seats enhance lateral support through sharp turns. 
The all-...
2008 Lexus IS F Review: Muscle Car Meets 
Performance 
Imagine the premiere edition of the Lexus IS F as the sporty IS 
“h...
Management system mean better safety. One example is a 
limited-slip differential on the rear wheels that helps reduce 
wh...
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New Car Reviews for Cars Dotcom

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New car reviews without seeing, touching or driving the cars.

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New Car Reviews for Cars Dotcom

  1. 1. Personality driven… real-people read. I'm not a gearhead, but more of a fan of how cars are becoming smarter, more comfortable and more fun. Once upon a time in Austin, Texas, I taught defensive driving. But I’d never written about automobiles when Cars.com hired me. They wanted new car product reviews that were fun, conversational and easy to understand. Depending on a visitor’s search, the review pulled from a central database serving three websites: NewCars.com, WhyPaySticker.com and CarPriceSecrets.com. Each description is 300-500 words. (Unlike the previous copywriter, I added a headline.) The research and writing deadlines were fast and furious … so I never got to actually see, touch, or drive the cars. With this in mind, my goal was to provide the customer with a virtual experience of “handling the merchandise” using sensory connections while helping readers imagine how much better their lives would be tooling around in a new vehicle. I shied away from “stuffing keywords” and choose human-voiced personality instead. Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  2. 2. 2009 Jaguar XF Review: Fusion Of Sports Car And Luxury Sedan The first of its breed, the 2009 Jaguar XF is an entirely different beast that can only be described as the fusion of sports car and luxury sedan. Thanks to fresh design, loads of intuitive, motion sensing technology and a promise to uphold the balance of comfort, athleticism, and refinement, this premiere performer stacks up favorably against its rivals, most notably Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac STS, Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. One thing that Jaguar has done really well on the XF is the astute details. Nothing “flimsy to the touch” intrudes on the impression of luxury. Using your keyless entry to slip inside, the first thing you'll notice is the pulsating red start/stop button—what Jaguar calls the XF’s "heartbeat." Press it, and the Jaguar Drive Selector rises to meet the palm of your hand. New shift-by-wire technology affords a 6-speed automatic that responds to both road conditions and the way you drive. From a parked flush position, climate control vents glide open as the navigation system simultaneously scrolls to its home page. An ample 7 inch touch-screen controls most major functions including heated seats and steering wheel. Overall smart design creates space for hi-tech comforts such as iPod/MP3 connect- Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  3. 3. ivity, a rear camera, Jaguar Voice or Blind Spot Monitor. With its spacious cabin cushioned in buttery-soft leather, the XF offers extraordinary front-bucket seat comfort. Rear-seat passengers, however, face a tighter ride while accommodating three adults. Jaguar also makes much of the XF's real aluminum trim as well as the fact that it has more interior wood than any previous Jag. But what Jaguar knows best is that at the heart of a great car is a great engine. Compact and light, both all-aluminum V8s (320 hp/420 hp), deliver massive torque and a beautifully taut ride to 155 mph. Feeling omnipotent? Choosing side power vents with a chrome finish—or perhaps the sporty rear spoiler—offer subtle touches that make the exterior focus of the XF even more dynamic. The days of Jaguar's feather-light steering seem to be gone. With careful attention to stiff structure, aerodynamics and a subtle roar of menace from the twin exhausts at low speeds, this plush sports sedan practically merges its wide alloys with the road. Company founder Sir William Lyons once said, "The car is the closest thing we will ever come to creating something that is truly alive." With the 2009 Jaguar XF, he could be quite right. Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  4. 4. 2009 Ford Flex Review: An Icon Gets Hip Fans of the minivan's convenience and roomy interior may find that the 2009 Ford Flex crossover debut makes a big splash in destination driving. This all-new midsize SUV is packed with cargo, comfort and traveling designs that make it an interesting family idea. The seven-passenger Flex measures 16 feet, 10 inches, longer than truck-based SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe. Ford claims extra thick glass and sound-deadening materials in the interior help make the Flex one of the quietest rides in its category. Taller riders (up to 6' 3") may find this crossover's "limo-size" first-class. Reminiscent of the iconic American woody station wagon, the Flex has grooved panels on its passenger doors that add a bit of stiffer sheet metal. Conventional swing-out doors in back provide the ample access required for removing and installing the third seat. The squared-off shape (sans rocker panels to step over when climbing in and out) is complemented by contrasting roof and body colors. Plenty of exterior chrome—including Ford's signature three-bar grille—furthers the Ford's modern, linear touch. Powering those stimulating good looks is an award-winning 265- hp, 3.5-liter 24-valve Duratec V-6 with six-speed automatic transmission. You won't be breaking any speed records, but Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  5. 5. properly equipped the Flex can tow watercraft, snowmobiles and trailers up to 4,000 pounds. Ford assures some of the best EPA mileage ratings among similar-size vehicles. The Flex is loaded with convenience offerings: capless fuel-filler, programmable interior LED lighting, mobile phone and digital media player integration (jukebox space for 2,300 songs), a fridge that actually chills drinks faster than your home refrigerator (to 41 degrees in 2.5 hours), adjustable 2nd row foot rests, key-activated power liftgate, attitude-enhancing 19" aluminum wheels and a glass skylight that spans all three seat rows. For family road trips, Ford promises best-in-class second-row legroom. Choose from separate bucket seats or a three-place bench. Both either roll forward for access to the third row, or fold flat into the floor to maximize cargo space. Flex trim levels match Ford's existing sedans and crossovers. Each comes standard with a Roll Stability Control that calculates roll-rate 100 times every second. Front-wheel drive (with added Traction Assist) is available with the SE; the SEL and Limited editions offer both front-wheel and all-wheel drive configurations. Base MSRP ranges from $28,295 - $36,555. If the minivan look left you flat, then the unique, linear-chromed, smooth-riding, roomy 2009 Ford Flex is your ride with style. Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  6. 6. 2008 BMW 128i Coupe Review: Cheeky And Aggressive, The Best Of Bavarian Hear the noise, feel the thunder, experience the lightning! While the "i" stands for a fuel-injected engine, BMW's smallest offering is a real rocket. The inline-six in the BMW 128i Coupe produces 230hp, enough to hurl it to highway speeds in a few blinks of the eye. The 128i is more compact and less practical (to some) when shopped against costly hatchbacks like the Volkswagen GTI, Mazdaspeed3 or Audi A3. But none offers the level of interior quality or driving pleasure that's become the Bavarian automaker's distinct definition. Fashioned after that racing triumph - the sizzling 2002 BMW sports sedan - the 128i shares modern and heyday characteristics. The hood line flows straight along the side into the short rear deck, the grille hunches forward a bit, and the wheels spin from nearly the corners of the car. Yet the new model's detailing gives it a curvaceous sweep across its lower half, imaging the current 3 and 5 Series. With one exception: the BMW 128i is a full ten inches shorter than a 3 Series Sedan. This rear-wheel drive's aggressive package includes two fat exhaust pipes, just in case you weren't sure of its performance intentions. Barreling out of corners, the car's light weight helps offer a liquid smoothness in road operations. Sporting a low-cut Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  7. 7. roof, soft-touch dash plastics, cushy Leatherette seats and metallic or wood-grain trim, the rear buckets are almost useless (but does it matter?). The 128i is privy to BMW's optional iDrive, equipped with six Programmable Memory Keys for navigation, radio stations, or the numbers in your little black book. Toss two full sets of golf clubs in the trunk and your premium ride is ready to roll. Available in the spring of 2008, the BMW 128i Coupe gives more road, wind and engine noise than we've become accustomed to in Beemers … which could make the 128i the perfect vehicle for enticing young enthusiasts into a lifelong love affair with the ultimate driving brand. Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  8. 8. 2009 Pontiac Vibe Review: Softer Styling Houses Hotter Hatchback The restyled 2009 Pontiac Vibe is another vehicle benefiting from the trend toward softer exterior lines. The polished hatchback jumps into the hot seat with a new powertrain option and a 158-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder alongside the 132-hp, supercharged 1.8-liter standard unit. Pontiac has re-equipped its base with optional all-wheel drive while maintaining its front-wheel- drive GT. Alternatives include the Dodge Caliber, Mazda Mazda3, Chevrolet HHR, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Kia Spectra5 and the Toyota Matrix. The Vibe is roomy enough for five (buckets in the front and a three-person 60/40-split backseat); cloth seats are standard while GT style seats are leather-accented. The speedometer, tachometer and an elliptical housing for the fuel and engine temperature gauges form a unique, tri-clustered panel. Interior storage is highly versatile: Vibes equipped with the 2.4- liter engine come with a fold-flat front passenger seat and just over 20 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats. Fold those and the space expands to just about 50 cubic feet. Rubber strips help keep heavy stuff from flying. Smaller items nestle into a back storage organizer with nifty hook-and-net divided compartments. The latter setup disappears into the floor when Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  9. 9. you want it to. Five-speed manual transmission is standard, 4-speed automatic optional. Safety standards include StabiliTrak electronic vehicle stability system, tire pressure monitoring, dual-stage frontal airbags with passenger-sensing ability, side curtain airbags, side-thorax airbags for the front passengers, active head restraints, three-point safety belts in all seating positions, front safety belt retractors, rear-seat LATCH child-seat anchors in all three seating positions, and OnStar communication system. Properly equipped, your Vibe can tow up to 1,500 pounds. Steel or aluminum wheel choices, a liftgate-mounted spoiler on the GT and an available 320-watt, 7-speaker premium audio system with subwoofer give the sleek 2009 Pontiac Vibe a terrific new ring. Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  10. 10. 2009 Nissan GT-R Review: Grace At High Speed Like a hand in glove, if there's a sports car that can hug the road while taking hairpin turns smooth as silk, then the 2009 Nissan GT-R is it. Even street-legal versions of Mitsubishi's Lancer Evolution, the Subaru WRX STi and other World Rally Champions are left in the dust when pitted against the GT-R. Nissan says its twin-turbo, rear-biased driver runs 0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds, neck and neck with the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and venomous Dodge Viper. Cost-wise, consider that only supercars priced at six figures or more can give chase. Meanwhile, the GT-R runs with a base MSRP of just $69,850 - $71,900. Built to handle precisely with Earth's natural forces - gravity, inertial force, and aerodynamics - Nissan pinpointed basic vehicle dynamics and integration with the driver. Result? Brand new components like a Human-Machine Interface never before seen in the marketplace. A beauty to behold, the GT-R's curvaceous shape (aero blades on the fenders, an aero blade canopy roofline and curved C-pillar sword edge) gives this four-seater coupe its sophisticated Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  11. 11. style. Equally important is that airflow for power and cooling moves undisturbed. The Japanese automaker chose carbon fiber (the material of space satellites) combined with steel and aluminum for a chassis that keeps weight down. By distributing the car's total mass evenly over the front and rear wheels, the driver has absolute road control. Under the hood, the Nissan GT-R features a hand-built 3.8-liter V-6, producing 480 horsepower. What's more, the engine sports plasma-sprayed bores with a special twin-turbo exhaust manifold system. Put power to the ground with a six-plate dual clutch transmission; one clutch for the odd gears and one for the even allows for the gearbox to shift almost instantly. Steering-wheel mounted shift paddles are a Nissan first. A world's first is the independent rear transaxle all-wheel drive system. This means the transmission, transfer case and final drive are located in the vehicle's rear. Combined with the optional Dunlop all-season tires, it's conceivable your GT-R could be driven in the winter in ways its competitors can't - just watch the low ground clearance. Adjust the computerized shock absorbers to Comfort, Normal or "R" (for maximum handling with faster shifts) by the touch of a dashboard switch. Enforce more control over the stability system and the transmission's shift characteristics when in Automatic mode. An oversized tachometer gives its cockpit the look you'd expect in a performance car. Only this "stiff but light" Nissan is constantly metering mechanical information for uncommonly safe high-performance driving. Complimentary support for the GT-R driver is offered for the first three years of ownership. Toss two golf bags in the luggage space, and you've got one more reason the multi-dimensional 2009 Nissan GT-R is a perfect fit for precision drivers on fast roads everywhere. Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  12. 12. 2009 Mitsubishi Galant Review: Competitor On The Road And On Paper The 2009 Mitsubishi Galant is an especially value-packed performer that's anything but boring. Outside, this sporty mid-size sedan is distinguishable by its boldly styled new front end and its sophisticated new lines that are especially apparent in the rear three-quarter view (new side outer panel, wider rear glass and back-light, new tail lamps, and new bumper treatments). Inside, premium materials enhance the roomy interior, and new user technologies meet consumer demand for the latest in onboard convenience and entertainment. Serving up four trim levels and three engine types, the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant is safe enough to drive your family, roomy enough to drive your clients and sporty enough to take yourself for a road-gripping spin. The racy Galant Reliant tops the line, which for 2009 also includes the 4-cylinder ES, the new Sport models, and the new Sport V-6. All Galant models come standard with a Sportronic automatic transmission -- a 4-speed with the 4-cylinder engine and a 5-speed with the V-6s -- that gives you the choice of manual shift control when you want it. Standard factory value packages (sunroof, automatic climate control, heated seats, alloy wheels, fog lights, alarm system, rear spoiler, steering wheel audio control, auto-dimming rear- Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  13. 13. view mirror with garage door opener/transmitter and more) add a large roster of premium equipment to the Galant Sport models at a substantial savings over what those same features would cost separately. Mitsubishi says this bundle allows for a $1,000+ MSRP advantage over comparable competitors. Value and road control isn't all this auto makes easy; at engine start-up, the Galant’s new catalytic converter reduces harmful greenhouse emissions getting into the atmosphere. Stay on the green track with the Galant’s industry-first Diamond Lane Navigation Guidance system that lets you travel a route exclusively using the carpool HOV lanes. The Rockford Acoustic Design premium audio system sets a new sound benchmark in the midsize sedan category. Available for all models, the 8-speaker, 6-CD/MP3 changer, digi-signal processor comes with six months of prepaid SIRIUS Satellite Radio (from date of car purchase). Your eyes, ears and pocketbook will agree: the 2009 Mitsubishi Galant looks and sounds as good on paper as it feels on the road. Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  14. 14. 2008 BMW M3 Review: Fourth Generation Sports Two “Fast And Fun” Firsts With the 3 Series now in its fourth generation, the 2008 BMW M3 is the first production vehicle in its segment to have two noteworthy firsts. A new, burly V-8, (roughly on par with the Chevrolet Corvette) produces 420-hp with peak torque measuring 295 pound-feet. The car that hits 60mph in 4.8 seconds is also the first to have a roof made of reinforced carbon fiber. Used in professional motorsports, such roofs reduce overall vehicle weight while lowering the center of gravity to enhance agility and handling. The all-new suspension features "weight-optimized" aluminized components. The German automaker says its lightweight engineering is working; each unit of engine horsepower only has to move 8.4 pounds of car. Available as a rear-wheel drive coupe or sedan, aesthetically the new M3 carries over the load-bearing structure, windows, head-and taillights from the latest BMW 3 Series. What's changed are the rest of the M3's features. These include the large air intake scoops on the front, flared wheel arches, side sill and dual tailpipes. Inside, a dashboard gauge shows just how much of the engine's power is available (based on the temperature of the engine oil). Richer cabin materials include various leather and trim Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  15. 15. treatments. Optional adjustable-width backrests on the front seats enhance lateral support through sharp turns. The all-new 2008 M3 Sedan and M3 Coupe also feature driver-adjustable settings for crucial dynamic controls including steering, damping and stability (and an available steering-wheel mounted "MDrive" button to store the preferences). Fiddle with engine management (for more lively throttle response), choose between a stiff or more comfortable ride or change the steering response at varying speeds. Coax your M3 into controlled skids around curves by turning off the BMW M3's Dynamic Stability Control system. BMW's well-known iDrive controller governs entertainment, navigation, communication, and climate-control functions. Carrying a base MSRP of $53,800, the new 2008 BMW M3 is a fun, fast ride. Its closest competitors are the Audi S5, Chevrolet Corvette and the Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG. The new M3 will come in a convertible version as well. Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  16. 16. 2008 Lexus IS F Review: Muscle Car Meets Performance Imagine the premiere edition of the Lexus IS F as the sporty IS “hot rodded” with a ferocious 400-hp, 5.0-liter V-8 plus the ability to change gears in one-tenth of a second. Add rear-wheel drive, suspension to handle the power, and a few distinguishing chassis tweaks, and you've got a sedan with a muscular look and sporty drive. A similar concept is shared by the fastest and finest-handlers in their class - Mercedes' AMG versions, the Audi S- and RS models, and the BMW M Series. But while the latter two are married to manual transmissions, the Lexus IS F offers automatic only. Nonetheless, the IS F serves one of the most technologically advanced transmissions in the industry. From standing start, your IS F can leap to 60mph in 4.6 seconds; ultimately reaching 170mph at top speed. The Lexus IS F comes loaded with added performance value: a lowered chassis that reduces the car's center of gravity and gives it quicker handling, modified steering and suspension systems for peak cornering ability and 19-inch performance tires. Lexus says the IS F stops safely and securely thanks to oversized antilock brakes. Revisions to the automaker's Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com
  17. 17. Management system mean better safety. One example is a limited-slip differential on the rear wheels that helps reduce wheelspin while cornering. Choose the sport mode for a certain steering feel that allows the savvy driver to "drift" through turns. With Lexus' optional pre-collision system, front seat belts tighten and brakes prime when the vehicle detects an imminent crash. An elongated front bumper, hood, and fenders—coupled with a rear spoiler—give the debut Lexus a presence that separates it from the rest of the IS pack. The beauty of this 4-seater is further enhanced with a newly designed instrument panel, steering wheel, supportive power seats, and best-choice options like radar-based adaptive cruise control, a 14-speaker surround-sound audio system and computerized navigation and camera systems. Its high-tech appeal and $56,000 base MSRP could make the 2008 Lexus IS F the non-German alternative you're looking for in a luxury, fast set of wheels. Tia Dobi’s Cars.com New Car Product Reviews tiad@earthlink.net www.tiadobi.com

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