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New Car Reviews Archives - Page 9 of 10 - Omaha Auto Deals

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11 Apr 2014

2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan [w/video]

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2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan

The great all-arounder. A concept as familiar to sports fans as it is dear to gearheads, the expression sums up a person or thing that excels by way of diffuse – rather than concentrated – excellence. This is an especially formidable concept in the picky midsize sedan segment of the luxury car world, we’d argue, where brand loyalty and the force of history often power purchases as much as a car’s feature set. Do nothing wrong and win, assuming your brand is strong and your model’s reputation sterling.

In the case of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, both brand and model are held in high regard, of course. What’s more, the current iteration of the car, substantially revised for 2014, is very much in the competitive mix with other luxury sedans in most categories, without really being the best at any one thing.

The question is, does that make it the best choice in its segment overall?

We grabbed the keys to a well-optioned E350 4Matic sedan in an attempt to answer just that. Though rear-wheel drive is standard for the E-Class; diesel- and V8-power available; and coupe, convertible and wagon bodystyles are on the offer sheet, the V6-propelled, all-wheel-drive sedan seems to be a bread-and-butter choice for executive shoppers here in the northern part of the country. And, of course, BMW, Lexus, Audi, Cadillac and all the other contestants make sedans with similar drivelines, power and price tags.

Continue reading 2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan [w/video]

2014 Mercedes-Benz E350 4Matic Sedan [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 09 Jan 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

2014 Nissan Rogue

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2014 Nissan Rogue

The compact crossover segment is crowded because it offers near-perfect transportation for small families and empty nesters alike. As more and more consumers discover the benefits of compact crossovers – riding tall in traffic, enjoying four-cylinder fuel economy and the confidence of all-weather traction – automakers are jumping into the game to meet the increasing demand. Today’s choices, in no particular order, include the Honda CR-V, Jeep Cherokee, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Mini Countryman, Subaru Forester, Chevrolet Equinox, Kia Sportage, Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Escape, GMC Terrain, Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota RAV4 and this Nissan Rogue. Nearly all start around $22,000 in base trim and work their way reasonably upwards with more appealing trim levels and options. If you spend much over $33,000 in this segment, you are a glutton for frosting.

The latest player from Nissan is its all-new second-generation Rogue, introduced late last year as a 2014 model. After a brief First Drive in October, we recently welcomed back the Rogue for a week-long review. The plan was to embed the compact crossover into a family routine during the holidays, where it would receive a hearty workout hauling everything from five adult passengers and their shopping bags to trays loaded with warm honey-glazed hams and pecan pies for a dinner party. The compact CUV handled all with poise, but everything wasn’t as sweet as its edible cargo.

Continue reading 2014 Nissan Rogue

2014 Nissan Rogue originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 08 Jan 2014 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

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2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

This could have been something great. Last fall, Mitsubishi slapped its triple-diamond badge on a dainty little hatchback called Mirage, offering plenty of functionality and 44 miles per gallon on the highway, all starting at a super-low $12,995. For budget shoppers, this seemed to be a good thing – not to mention a much-needed breath of fresh air for the company’s waning US automotive arm.

I will fully admit to being a bit harsh on the Mirage following its debut at the 2013 New York Auto Show, often making it the butt of jokes with my colleagues. But at the end of the day, I love cheap, basic, honest little cars like this, and I wasn’t prepared to write off the Mirage until I spent some time behind the wheel. After all, on paper, a Mazda2 looks pretty unremarkable, and yet it’s one of my favorite small cars to drive.

Much as I wasn’t looking forward to putting my foot in my mouth, I was sort of hoping to feel the same way about the new Mirage. It’s a bland package, but it could have been filled with the same spunky spirit and well-meaning composure of vehicles like the aforementioned Mazda, or even stuff like the Honda Fit or Chevy Spark and Sonic.

It could have. And in this day and age, it should have.

Continue reading 2014 Mitsubishi Mirage

2014 Mitsubishi Mirage originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 Jan 2014 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

2013 Nissan NV200

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2013 Nissan NV200

Moving is not fun. On the scale of adult activities, it ranks somewhere between taxes and jury duty. Boxes need to be loaded, furniture needs to be lifted and the entire affair is typically fueled by a combination of pizza, beer and pain killers (a combo my friends affectionately refer to as “moving fuel”). It’s not fun, and it’s rarely easy.

While it doesn’t make the activity any more enjoyable, having the right vehicle for the job is the difference between loading and unloading half a dozen times and doing it once or twice. When taken as a whole, a proper moving van can shave hours off a day of labor, not to mention untold years of physical and mental stress for those who must take to their wheels every day.

That truism was borne out once again when I borrowed a loaded Nissan NV200 SV to help my girlfriend move into her new house. The little Nissan was a comfortable and able companion throughout the day, managing everything from a mattress and box springs to countless boxes of clothes, dishes and other necessities. Throughout the day, the NV impressed not just with the amount of stuff it could fit in its cavernous back end, but with the features it had to make moving anything easier.

Continue reading 2013 Nissan NV200

2013 Nissan NV200 originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 30 Dec 2013 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

2014 Fiat 500L

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2014 Fiat 500L

The saying goes that man cannot live by bread alone, and neither can automakers live by selling one car alone. This holds especially true for automakers with a budding dealer network to support, like the Fiat brand, which returned to US shores in 2011 after a 28-year absence. The company’s single car to sell at the time was the Fiat 500, a cute retro rebirth of the original, iconic Cinquecento, which your toddler now calls Luigi thanks to Pixar.

Since then, the new 500 has sold reasonably well here in the US, and the Fiat brand has been following the same playbook that another purveyor of pint-sized autos, Mini, has used: sell as many variants as you can of the one model you’ve got. So we have the 500, 500C drop top, high-performance 500 Abarth, all-electric 500e and a few additional trim levels and special editions to further fill dealer showrooms. But the axiom that automakers cannot live selling one car alone still stands, and so Fiat has finally introduced its second model, the larger 500L.

Executive Editor Chris Paukert completed our First Drive of the 500L back in June, and was left pleasantly surprised by its combination of utility, offbeat style, fun-to-drive demeanor and value. We’ve also, however, read some scathing reviews, like this one from The New York Times. I wasn’t sure where the truth lay when the keys for this top-trim 2014 Fiat 500L Lounge were handed to me, but finding out would be but a short week of together time away.

Continue reading 2014 Fiat 500L

2014 Fiat 500L originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 04 Dec 2013 12:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

2014 Acura RLX

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2014 Acura RLX

Earlier in the year, I reviewed a powder-blue Volkswagen Beetle Convertible, and I witnessed a group of high-school-aged girls ogling the car as it sat in my driveway. In my head, I found it to be a funny-yet-fitting scene that I didn’t think of again until a 2014 Acura RLX showed up in my driveway. This time around, an elderly neighborhood couple stopped to give the big Acura sedan a closer look. The RLX is trying to shed past stereotypes of its predecessor, the Acura RL, just like the Beetle. Hoping to avoid becoming the de facto “grandpa car,” Acura has completely reworked – and renamed – its flagship sedan.

As the bookend to the new entry-level ILX, the addition of the 2014 RLX might give Acura its strongest sedan lineup ever as the automaker looks to break the cycle of being a middle-of-the-road luxury brand. Stepping up to the big-boy table isn’t going to be easy, though, as the competition keeps getting tougher. Forget cars like the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5 Series, the Acura RLX is going to have its hands full with the likes of the Cadillac XTS, Lexus GS and Hyundai Genesis, not to mention a strong consortium of lower-priced, mid-luxury sedans like the Hyundai Azera, Toyota Avalon and Chevy Impala. The one thing all of these cars have in common is a reputation for being an old man cruiser.

I spent a week with the new RLX to see if it could shake the stigma of its outdated predecessor or if it would just leave me searching for the nearest early bird specials.

Continue reading 2014 Acura RLX

2014 Acura RLX originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Nov 2013 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

2014 Lexus IS 350

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2014 Lexus IS 350

Long regarded as one of the best driver’s cars of all time, the BMW 3 Series has always been targeted by luxury automakers trying to create their own exciting, bang-for-the-buck sport sedan. For years, BMW has managed to ward off would-be rivals to its iconic 3 Series, but the combination of a softened F30 and solid, hard-hitting competitors could soon relieve the car of its crown. While the all-new Cadillac ATS has received the most publicity in this segment since its introduction, the 2014 Lexus IS has come on strong in its third generation to put plenty of heat on the 3 Series as the current-best luxury sport sedan.

The IS might be Lexus’ most important launch in some time, as a new, strong attempt to draw younger buyers into showrooms. Rather than taking the same conservative path as the preceding IS, Lexus attacked the new car’s design with enthusiasm. Exaggerated exterior styling, while certainly polarizing, definitely gets this car noticed.

We’ve certainly noticed the 2014 IS, with a couple of first drives (for the IS 250 prototype and the IS 350 F Sport) and a Quick Spin so far. This time around we had a chance to get a little more intimate with a staple of the new IS lineup: the non-F Sport, rear-wheel-drive IS 350.

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2014 Lexus IS 350 originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Feb 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

2014 Chevrolet SS

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2014 Chevrolet SS

Not everyone is an automobile enthusiast, but for the most part, those who possess valid driver’s licenses are usually able to differentiate between a performance car and a luxury car. Furthermore, they are usually capable of telling approximately how old a car is based on its styling.

But not with the 2014 Chevrolet SS.

Even as its true devotees acknowledge the sedan’s Pontiac GTO and Pontiac G8 ancestors while hoping that GM’s latest will finally earn the merit and recognition it deserves, this made-in-Australia model is a real head scratcher to most. The low volume, rear-wheel drive sport sedan, fitted with a powerful V8 and the world’s shortest options list, sits in most Chevrolet showrooms as nothing more than a $45,000 mystery to most of the customers who walk in.

“What is it?” was the most common question during my week with the Chevrolet SS. The answer took me a full seven days to figure out.

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2014 Chevrolet SS originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Apr 2014 11:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

2014 Kia Cadenza

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2014 Kia Cadenza

Teenage passengers are often among the first people I turn to for second opinions about a test vehicle. While they understandably aren’t allowed behind the wheel – most aren’t even old enough to drive – their honest and generally unbiased observations, coupled with a complete lack of understanding about what a particular vehicle costs, can provide a wealth of insight.

An open-minded approach is especially important when taking a closer look at the 2014 Kia Cadenza, a premium sedan from an automaker best known for providing affordable transportation for entry-level buyers. But unlike the Rio and Forte, low-priced compacts designed to cater to consumers looking for fuel economy and value, this more substantial four-door sedan asks for twice the out-of-pocket investment in exchange for promises of luxury and technology.

With an impartial mindset and a genuine curiosity, I recently spent a week with the more substantial Cadenza to see if it could live up to its aspirations.

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2014 Kia Cadenza originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 19 Mar 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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11 Apr 2014

2014 Volkswagen Tiguan Bluemotion TDI

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Volkswagen Tiguan TDI

What are auto writers always asking for from global automakers? “Give us your hip European wares,” we plead, “give us your diesels and your manuals and your wagons, your tauter suspensions and Welsh B-road handling, your neat matrix lighting and your funky little Hello-Kitty-sized trailer hitches to haul the little Hello-Kitty-sized caravans that we’ll also need you to start exporting.”

How do the automakers almost always respond? At best, “We’ll gauge demand.” More likely, “No,” because for whatever reason, “We just don’t think it’s right for the US market.”

If that’s how they had answered us in the case of the Volkswagen Tiguan “Track & Style” Bluemotion TDI, they’d actually be right. Volkswagen recently brought this Euro-spec compact crossover to the US for a ‘Get to know me!’ tour, and while we hate to drag the cute little thing into the public square to acquaint it with the whip, well, we have no choice. See, it’s just not right for the US market.

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2014 Volkswagen Tiguan Bluemotion TDI originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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