New Car Review: 2012 Mazda 6

Front 3/4 view of 2012 Mazda 6 being driven on country road
The 2012 Mazda 6.

There are great mysteries in automotive journalism, as in life itself. The one I've been pondering lately is why you don't see more of the car pictured above on streets all over America.

The car is the 2012 Mazda 6, and as we've been telling everyone who'll listen for years, if you're shopping for a family sedan, this car absolutely needs to be on your test drive list.  Not only does it hold its own in every comparison with Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Chevy Malibu, it's arguably a more satisfying car to drive.


New Car Review: 2012 Porsche Cayman R

Front view of green 2012 Porsche Cayman R parked at night
The 2012 Porsche Cayman R.

Purity meets sheer, unbridled lust.

The purity in this case is purity of purpose, purity of design and purity of intent. What was once the beginning, middle and end of what it meant to build cars at Porsche. And while the brand now also includes such things as hybrid SUVs and four-door GTs, anyone who doubts that Porsche still can build a pure sports car need only spend some time behind the wheel of the 2012 Porsche Cayman R.

We were fortunate. We got six days.


New Car Review: 2011 Kia Optima Turbo

Front 3/4 view of blue 2011 Kia Optima Turbo
The 2011 Kia Optima Turbo.

It occurs to me I don't know the Korean word for "hat-trick". Or the one for "three-peat".
It's just never come up.

Until now.

If the face above looks familiar to regular TireKicker readers, that's because it is. It's the Kia Optima Turbo. On September 10, we reviewed the base Optima, on October 11, the Optima Hybrid, and now, on November 19, it's the Turbo's turn.


New Car Review: 2012 Audi A6

Side view of dark gray 2012 Audi A6
The 2012 Audi A6.

Thirty years ago, Audi changed the automotive world with the styling of the Audi 5000. A design so pure, so fundamentally right, that it essentially survives today...just refined and improved as time, and technologies change.

For a lot of people (and a lot of rival automakers) the Audi A6 is a benchmark for five-passenger family sedans. The only reason you don't see one in every driveway is that they don't come cheap...$41,700 is as low as they go (for the A6 Premium 2.0 TFSI). And the prices get higher along with the engine displacement, the number of cylinders and the number of wheels driven.


New Car Review: 2012 Toyota Yaris

Front view of red 2012 Toyota Yaris
The 2012 Toyota Yaris 5-Door front view.

As unloved as the last-generation Toyota Yaris was, this new one will surprise a lot of people. We were among the Yaris' few fans here at TireKicker...considering it a perfectly good sedan in its class...but with a lot of competition at its price-point. It wasn't helped, among automotive journalists or buyers, by the fact that it wasn't an especially attractive car.

Well, Toyota has fixed that, with a 5-door Yaris design for 2012 that pictures don't do justice to. It is an utterly contemporary small car, with clean, crisp lines. It just plain looks good as you walk up to it.