Quantcast

Home » Reviews » Recent Articles:

2014 MPG Track Day: Driving Impressions

Occasionally, we here at Hooniverse have the privilege of access to some fantastic automobiles. Any time where I am invited to attend an actual track day, and when my real job wife will let me dedicate the time to go, I am all for it. Being the new member to the Hooniverse team, this was my first major event so I was walking around in a giddy fashion when I saw the list of offerings that were to be given to us.

I packed up my gear and headed from San Diego to Willow Springs Raceway to meet up with Jeff and Rob for this years MPG Track Day. Driving just about everything that was available to us, I will give you my quick impressions of a few of the good and bad about some of the vehicles in attendance.

… Continue Reading

Quick Spin- 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C

DSCN5028

This past week a number of your humble hosts attended the Motor Press Guild’s 2014 Track Days event, where we got to wrap our hands around the wheels of some of the coolest cars debuting at the moment. One of the most sought-after rides – one that literally had a waiting list to drive – was the 2015 Alfa Romeo 4C, the car that relaunches the venerated Italian brand here in the U.S..

I managed to get on that list and take the car out on the track at the Streets of Willow and I’m now back, with a crazy grin still stuck on my face, to tell you what it was like. … Continue Reading

Used Car Reviews – 2001 Peugeot 206 GTi

Photo 17.10.2014 13.03.35

As an owner of a Peugeot 205, the 206 has always interested me ever since I got my little Pug. I’ve only ever driven a 206 Roland Garros – a posh special edition – and that was when the car was new a decade ago, so I haven’t had a clear comparison to how they stack up next to each other. As this black example of a cheap 206 GTi popped up for sale, I wanted to go over and have a look. Could it capture some of the 205 feel, or would it be an unjust comparison to begin with?

The initial problem with the 206 is that it isn’t a 205. Thing is, no other car than a 205 is a 205. The first two numbers and the “GTi” add-on mean the 206 GTi travels on dangerous ground. Peugeot couldn’t really replace the 205, so they brought in the 106 as a smaller, somewhat overlapping replacement and kept making the 205 as long as it was in any way viable. The 106 grew old and uncompetitive, so another replacement had to be ushered in, and about that time Peugeot’s design language and general demeanour had grown up to favour the more ballooned and stretched look, just like the 307 that followed the ’90s 306. That is an another can of worms that eventually led to the all-face, no-trousers 407, but it’s fairly obvious they couldn’t keep making the 205-306-405 set forever. You know they tried.

… Continue Reading

Rotten Rental Car Review: 2013 Mitsubishi Mirage

Mirage

The Mitsubishi Mirage. The car of the people. The car that will be lucky to go down in the annals of automotive history as a mere footnote. A mirage, if you will. If what you are looking for is to blend in, to go unnoticed, to fly under the radar (or at least drive under the speeds that radar would notice), then the Mirage is the car for you.

On the other hand, does this little car have some bright spots? Might it be quirky enough to be enjoyable to drive? Click through and find out.

… Continue Reading

BMW i3 and i3 Range Extender: Existential Review

20140522_154303b

Have you ever wondered how arts reviewers manage to get away with saying what they do? Every time I pick up one of the London newspapers I spend time reviewing the reviews section, purely because I’m fascinated by opinion. What on Earth gives a person, particularly a non-artist, the right to judge on “how good” a new art installation, performance or recording is? Who’s to say that one idea is any more valid than another?

Of course, cars are a lot less subjective than art. For anybody who has ever taken an interest in driving it should be painfully obvious when a car fails, wholly or in part, to do its job competently. Or indeed when it excels. But sometimes the line between car and art becomes blurred. The BMW i3 has come along and established itself in a hitherto unoccupied slot in the vehicle-roadspace continuum. It’s a new idea, and I found it kind of tricky to get my head around.

… Continue Reading

Review: All-New Porsche Macan S and Macan Turbo

Macan-1-600x377

Going into this event, I was at the same time excited and disappointed. Excited because I’d be driving a brand new front-engine turbocharged Porsche, disappointed because it was another sport utility vehicle. As a P-car nut job, it was hard to contain my concern for the company I’d grown to love, fearing that their current trajectory would see them making pickups and people movers in no time flat. To make matters worse, this new Porsche Macan uses a chassis developed by Volkswagen and Audi (Tiguan and Q5 respectively), rather than the Cayenne’s chassis, which was developed by Porsche. The Macan is the first Porsche since 1983 to wear anything other than a 5X130 bolt pattern, using instead VAG’s traditional 5X112.

Could it possibly live up to the Porsche brand name? Click through to find out my thoughts on the subject.

… Continue Reading

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG: Ballin’ on a budget or the real AMG deal?

YouTube Preview Image

For many years now, AMG have been churning out ballistic machines with hand-built engines. The cars sole purpose has been to generate power, noise, and tire smoke. Now though, there’s a new generation of AMG vehicles and one of the interesting spots in the lineup is occupied by the CLA45 AMG.

It’s a compact sedan that’s shaped a bit like a coupe and offers up turbocharged four-cylinder goodness. That doesn’t sound like something that the mad minds at AMG would cook up… until you realize that this is one of the most powerful four-cylinder engines ever created.

Still, is it the real AMG experience or is it merely a budget pretender? Let’s watch…

Review: 2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

720Lede

I triple-checked the parking brake and glanced ahead through the narrow windshield—almost more of a viewing port—at the “ZL1″ affixed to the hood scoop’s side. I heard Jeff Glucker, Hooniverse’s executive editor, in my head.

Don’t f— it up.

Well, he hadn’t said those words, but he’d typed them in an email to let me know what I’d be driving for my short weekend visit to California to serve as a member of the austere and somber 24 Hours of LeMons Supreme Court. Nevertheless, I heard his voice when I first read those words and I heard it again as my thumb pinched the ignition key against my index finger.

Don’t f— it up.

My foot floored the stiff clutch pedal and I rolled my wrist forward. The Chevrolet Camaro’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8 sprang to burbling life and the whole chassis oscillated with the cam’s lope, a mighty American bear awakened. Ready to pounce.

I chanced a grin before those words popped up again in a buttery smooth podcast voice.

Don’t f— it up.

I furrowed my brow. This brand-new Camaro was about to see the easiest 330 journalist miles of its service life.

… Continue Reading

First Drive: 2015 Ford F-150
An aluminum game changer?

2015 Ford F-150

[Friend of Hooniverse Ben Wohja Woodzila W. recently got some seat time in the brand new, aluminum bodied Ford F-150. He posted about it on Facebook, and I asked if we could repost his thoughts on the new truck here. So here you go, enjoy! -- J.G.]

1) At a 20,000 ft level, it’s a truck. Yes, it has an aluminum body and as a result has a higher payload and trailer rating, but at the end of the day, it’s a truck. At no point in the day and a half that I spent with a variety of models did I think “This really changes the game.” I know from a materials and manufacturing process that it does indeed change the game, but to the end user, it doesn’t cure cancer, it doesn’t blow skirts up. It’s a good, solid truck, much like you can buy at a GM or Ram dealer.

Aside from not being able to stick magnets to it, the average Joe would have a REALLY hard time determining why it’s special. Out the door pricing will be very important because the competition among the three main players will be pretty stiff.

2) Exterior styling works well. Trucks are hard, in that they’re three boxes period, no options. The grille works, the body lines flow, the tailgate distinguishes the truck from its predecessors in traffic. Fancy ambient lighting in the headlights looks cool as do the optional all LED headlights. Ford has done well to eliminate the protruding blue ovals used to hide various cameras. The truck looks clean.

3) As far as features go, the F-150 is leading the pack. The improved man step in the tail gate is great. The LED spot lights on the wing mirrors seem hokey at first, but they’re pretty neat in real life. The side steps are carry-over and only necessary because the bed side around about a foot too high. The LED light on the tail gate is great. The power release tail gate… kind of silly. The optional E-track mounts in the bed sides are genius and should be copied by everyone else. Borrowing a page from Nissan’s Around View playbook with the 360 view is nice if over due.

[Jump past the break for more...]

… Continue Reading

Hooniverse Bookshelf: Memoirs Of A Hack Mechanic

bentley_gbrs_cv_large

I just finished reading this book, and I can tell you, dear reader, that this book belongs on your bookshelf. Don’t dawdle, get a copy today, this afternoon, right now! When I read, I don’t often pick up a memoir, as I tend to find the stories of other people’s lives somewhat unexciting. This time, though, the book came highly recommended from a friend who’s opinion I trust greatly. I was in Ohio to attend this friend’s wedding as a member of the wedding party, and as thanks for showing up, the book was thrust into my hands. I’d finished my previous book on the plane ride from west to east anyhow, and needed something to read on the way back to Nevada. Why not give it a shot? This friend of mine is a BMW fanatic of the first degree, and while I have great respect for the brand, I’ve never owned one, and don’t really aspire to (exempting a few models; E30 M3, E28 M5, E9 3.0 CSL, 2002 Turbo, M1, and surprisingly the new i8). As such, I was expecting a book that panders to Bimmerphiles and I might not relate to as closely. Boy was I ever wrong.

… Continue Reading

Search

Hooniverse Marketplace

Featuring Top 2/3 of vehicles Available in Marketplace

Read more





Subscribe via RSS