Issuu on Google+

d

Fall 2012

DECISIVE

The Best Source for Cultural and Consumer News

Tyler Perry Gets Cross Madea Goes Action Hero In New Detective Movie

Also Inside:

For The Holidays, Our Experts Will Show You How To: > Deal With Uninvited "Guests" > Pack Gifts For Safe Shipping > Craft Distinctive Holiday Desserts > Set A Festive Holiday Table

> 2013 New Car Buyer's Guide > A MINI Vacation > Tips For Saving On Health Insurance > 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards Preview

We Drive:

> 2013 BMW M5 > 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe > 2013 Lexus LS 460 > 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet

Get Your Subscription to Decisive Digital at www.DecisiveMagazine.com


T:15

HEROES CAN HANDLE ANY SITUATION. ESPECIALLY THE ROAD. The all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

No distance too great. No road too perilous. Not with the all-new Chevy Malibu. With its precision-tuned steering and responsive handling, you and your day-saving abilities will arrive with time to spare. Which will give you time to sign some autographs.

GMMM21820000__161205A01.indd 1


5'

Chevy Runs Deep

9/21/12 2:36 PM


d

DECISIVE The Best Source for Cultural and Consumer News Volume 4 | Issue 4 | fall 2012 On the Cover: Tyler Perry as Alex Cross

06 12 16 17 26 08 Index to Advertisers

®

Cover II: Chevrolet – Chevy.com Page 3: Toyota – Toyota.com Page 5: Hyundai – HyundaiUSA.com Page 14: Buick – Buick.com Cover III: Urban Wheel Awards – UrbanWheelAwards.com Cover IV: Dodge – Dodge.com

features Snappy Holidays!

The holidays can bring a special set of challenges. Whether you'll be entertaining, planning activities, packing and shipping gifts, or even dealing with uninvited "guests". Here's how to cope.

So, Uh, What Happened To Madea?

We've followed the career of Tyler Perry from his theater days on the chitlin' circuit all the way through crafting beautifully lush films featuring the likes of Cicely Tyson. Now, for the first time ever, Perry is starring in a movie he did not make. Does this signal new demand for the seasoned thespian?

Honoring Women In The Auto Industry

The 17th annual Urban Wheel Awards are set to be bestowed on January 13, 2013. This time they are all about the women in the auto industry. Those to be honored that evening are true groundbreakers in every sense of the word. Meet two of them right here, right now.impressed as we were.

The Best New Cars For 2013

Slowdown? What slowdown? This year's crop of new cars are better, faster and more well-equipped than ever before. There are brand new electric models, flashy new hybrids, and some serious performance hardware too. Model year 2013 is shaping up to be one of the best ever.

A MINI Vacation

Nestled comfortably in the southwest corner of Canada's westernmost province is an absolute jewel of a city. Vancouver, British Columbia is so close you can touch it even though it's in another country. We spent a three day MINI vacation there, you'll probably want to stay longer. Here's why...

departments: 06 Food 07 Home 10 Finance

11 Technology 22 First Drives 28 Long Term Reviews

Publisher: Randi Payton Editor-in-Chief: Lyndon Conrad Bell. Editorial Director: Joyce Gates Art Director: Fran Sherman Editors-at-Large: Mary M. Chapman, Hank Chase, Christopher Jackson, Valerie Menard Senior Editors: Warren Brown, Brian Armstead contributing writers: Sheryll Alexander, Lori Downes, Gayle Fleming, Wendy Ida, Chris Mendoza, Joan Stanford, Joanne Tucker web development: Thuan Ngo decisive Media Headquarters: 8181 Professional Place, Suite 170, Hyattsville, MD 20785 T. 301.850.2858 • F. 301.390.1825 President & CEO: Randi Payton Vice President: Karen Payton Production/Distribution: Joyce Gates Business Manager: Damon Redmond Sales Director: Karen Payton Publisher's assistant: Natalie Dorris DECISIVE MEDIA DETROIT: Leonard Corbin event director: Rosiland Triche public relations: Marjorie Staten DECISIVE magazine © 2012 is published four times annually as a newspaper-delivered publication and digital e-magazine by Decisive Multi-Media, Inc. Your complete resource for research and opinion on consumer products and services. Visit us at www.DecisiveMagazine.com. Email us at Comments@DecisiveMagazine.com

For licensing and reprints of Decisive/Decisive Auto content, contact Nick Lademarco at Wright’s Media, Niademarco@wrightsmedia.com, Toll Free 877-652-5295

Subscribe to Decisive Digital@ www.decisivemagazine.com Membership applied for October 2010


“The way I see it, conformity erodes the soul.” Raphael Saadiq

Toyota Prius

The estimated 50 MPG Toyota Prius hybrid.

1

Named a Best Overall Value2 of the year for the last 10 years in a row.

And with the available Entune®3 Multimedia System, including apps like Pandora, I can discover bands as opposed to bandwagons.

The Toyota Prius. Those who get it … get it. Get it for yourself at a dealer near you or visit toyota.com/prius to learn more. Options shown. 1 2012 EPA estimates 51/city, 48/hwy, 50/comb. Actual mileage will vary. 22012 IntelliChoice, www.IntelliChoice.com 3Always drive safely, obey traffic laws & focus on the road while driving. Apps/services vary by phone/carrier; functionality depends on many factors. Select apps use large amounts of data; you are responsible for charges. Not all apps/services are available initially and subject to change. Apps identified by ™ or ® are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. For enrollment, cost and more details, see Toyota.com/entune®. ©2012 Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.


letters from the editor

holidays, getaways, new cars...

we've got it all!

dDECISIVE

Fall 2012

The BesT source for culTural and consumer news

Tyler Perry Gets Cross Madea Goes Action Hero In New Detective Movie

With the holidays rapidly approaching, we thought you might appreciate some professional advice to help you make your holiday season a bit more manageable. You'll find a host of expert tips on packing gifts for shipping,

Also Inside:

For The Holidays, Our Experts Will Show You How To:

> 2013 New Car Buyer's Guide > A MINI Vacation > Tips For Saving On Health Insurance > 17th Annual Urban Wheel Awards Preview

setting a festive holiday table, and how to avoid entertaining uninvited guests.

Of course, life goes on even with the holidays, so we've also got some terrific We Drive: advice for saving money on health > 2013 BMW M5 > 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe insurance--as well as tips for protecting > 2013 Lexus LS 460 > 2013 Porsche 911 your assets while banking over the Internet. Carrera S Cabriolet Tyler Perry's taken on a new role. Action Get Your Subscription to Decisive Digital at www.DecisiveMagazine.com hero. In the film Alex Cross, Perry plays a hard boiled detective who...well...check out the article, you'll be just as surprised as we were. As always, we've got the best automotive advice you'll find anywhere too. We've driven the new 2013 versions of the Lexus LS, BMW M5, Hyundai Santa Fe, and Porsche 911 Carrera S Convertible. You can find out what they're all about, starting on page 22. You'll also want to take advantage of the 2013 new car buyer's guide this issue contains as well. A little while ago, we enjoyed a MINI vacation in Vancouver, British Columbia. An absolutely gorgeous city, it's well worth considering for your next getaway. And last, but certainly not least, we're introducing you to two of the women to be honored at the upcoming Urban Wheel Awards event on Sunday, January 13, 2013 in the Sound Board Theater at the MotorCity Casino Hotel. The event starts at 7:00 p.m. To learn more about the Urban Wheel Awards, check out the Website at www.UrbanWheelAwards.com.

> Deal With Uninvited "Guests" > Pack Gifts For Safe Shipping > Craft Distinctive Holiday Desserts > Set A Festive Holiday Table

Happy Holidays! .Lyndon Conrad Bell Editor-in Chief

4

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com


FEEL FREE TO H I G H - F I V E T H E W I N N E R. JUST DON’T LEAVE A N Y F I N G E R P R I N T S.

THE ELANTRA. 2012 NORTH AMERICAN CAR OF THE YEAR. Judged across different categories, such as innovation, comfort, design, safety and driver satisfaction, the Elantra was awarded this prestigious distinction by 50 North American automotive journalists. In other words, some high fives are in order. The 2012 Elantra, aka, the North American Car of the Year.

Hyundai is a registered trademark of Hyundai Motor Company. All rights reserved. Š2012 Hyundai Motor America.


food

tipstotopoff every holiday moment

There's no better way to celebrate the holiday season than by inviting friends and family into your home for good food and good fun. This year, surprise your special guests with festive treats and fun activities to keep them happy all season long.

Try these ideas at your next holiday gathering: Host a holiday game night. From board games to puzzles, family and friends can reconnect over the holidays during a casual game or a game tournament. Take a break between rounds to whip up some delicious, simple-to-prepare treats like homemade ice cream sandwiches. Lay out a selection of cookies, ice cream and ice cream toppings and encourage participants to get creative. Vanilla ice cream with Smucker's Microwavable Hot Caramel Topping sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies makes everyone a winner. Create indoor adventures. When the weather gets cold think inside the box to create fun adventures. With a little imagination an old blanket quickly transforms into a magic carpet, couch cushions and bed sheets make forts, and a simple flashlight becomes a projector for shadow puppets in a dark playroom. When it's time for a break, reward your adventurers with s'mores or other sweet treats. Enjoy morning coffee club. Avoid the coffee house rush and serve up something special at your own house. Spend the early hours relaxing and catching up with friends and family over a delicious Caramel Cream Coffee. Show off your barista skills by mixing fresh strong brewed coffee, Smucker's Sundae Syrup Caramel Flavored Syrup and whipped cream. Start a new dessert tradition and try this grilled pound cake recipe. It's simple to prepare and will give you and your guests even more to talk about. Find more holiday recipes at www.Smuckers.com.d

D

6

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

Grilled Pound Cake with Warm Blueberry Sauce and Ricotta Cream Makes: 6 servings 1 1/4 1/2 1 1 1/2 1 1 2 1/4

cups whole milk ricotta cheese cup powdered sugar tablespoon fresh lemon juice, divided into 3 teaspoons teaspoons grated lemon peel, divided jar (10 ounces) Smucker's Blueberry Topping prepared pound cake (11.5 ounces), cut into 6 (1 1/4-inch) thick slices tablespoons butter, softened cup sliced almonds, toasted

STIR ricotta cheese, powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon peel in small bowl until blended. COMBINE blueberry topping and remaining 2 teaspoons lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon lemon peel in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH 45 seconds or until warm. SPREAD butter lightly on both sides of pound cake slices. Cut cake slices on a diagonal to make 12 triangles. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grill cake triangles in skillet until cake is lightly browned on both sides, about 2 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. ARRANGE 2 cake triangles on each serving plate. Top each serving with about 3 tablespoons ricotta mixture and 2 tablespoons blueberry sauce. Garnish with toasted almonds. TIP: To Toast Nuts: Place nuts in dry nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat, shaking pan until nuts are lightly browned. To avoid over browning remove from pan immediately. Source: The J.M. Smucker Company


home

ship

how to ship

items

oversized, oddly-shaped

With the holidays approaching, getting distant loved ones their gifts can present some unique challenges. And while furniture might not be on your Christmas list, transporting a large or unusually shaped item can be a daunting task. It is, however, possible to ship just about anything safely. Pak Mail, a packing and shipping company with locations throughout the United States, specializes in custom packing and shipping. It has successfully shipped a life raft to Saudi Arabia, a motorized hang glider, a stained glass window, an x-ray machine and a Mercedes Benz roof, among thousands of other unusual items. The company offers the following tips to people with large or unwieldy items to ship: * Wrap it. Protect items from scratching or breaking by wrapping them in bubble wrap, tissue or plastic. If you're using one box to ship several items, wrap each item individually. If you're shipping artwork, use nonFor more more acidic paper. information or * Pack it. To help absorb shock to find Pak Mail and vibration during shipping, use locations, call



foam or rubber as a second layer of packaging. Make sure that items are secure. Most damage occurs when items shake or move in their packaging. * Make it secure. Choose a hard, puncture-resistant surface, like plywood, for the outer layer of your package. * Hire a professional. For especially cumbersome items, consider hiring a shipping company that specializes in custom packing and large items. For example, Pak Mail builds custom crates, so it can ship anything from dinosaur bones to grandfather clocks. The company will pick up the item at your house, pack it safely and ship it. The company does not have size, weight or piece limits. * Get a guarantee. Insure your items when you ship them. Make sure that you have each item's tracking numbers so you can watch their progress. d D

(800) 778-6665 or visit www.pakmail.com. fall 2012 | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

7


home

how to set a fantastic The holidays are about

holidaytable

making memories with friends and family. When it’s your turn to host, you can set a truly memorable holiday table – without breaking the bank.

Celebrity chef and event planner Travis London, of Healthy Chic Eats, shares three great ideas for creating fantastic holiday table settings and a great recipe: • Don't be afraid to mix and match. It's okay to mix patterns and textures because it adds another level of interest to the table. Mikasa offers many different dinnerware patterns that can be easily mixed with each other to create a great look. For example, start with red metallic chargers and add white Cameo Platinum dinner plates and festive

Holiday Bliss Low Calorie White Chocolate and Ricotta Cheesecake Serves 8-10 12 1 1/2 2 5 1 2 1

8

ounces low fat cream cheese cups fresh ricotta tablespoons sugar ounces chopped white chocolate, melted large egg egg whites tablespoon pure vanilla extract

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

salad plates such as Love Story Holiday. Or go for a fun, contemporary look by layering Christmas Cheers Dots and Christmas Candy Cane dishes. • Be creative with table decorations. Try using what you have in new ways. Fill a Pfaltzgraff Winterberry serving bowl with cranberries, or line a Winterberry platter with pretty votives and evergreen sprigs you snip from the back yard.

Preheat oven to 325°F and lightly spray a 10-inch spring form cake pan with vegetable oil. Using a mixer, beat together cream cheese, ricotta and sugar until soft. With the mixer set to low speed, beat remaining ingredients into mixture and mix until completely smooth. Pour cheesecake mixture into prepared cake pan and place in oven to bake until set, 30 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and allow cheesecake to cool completely before removing sides. Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours to continue to set before serving. Tip: When serving, use a round mold to create individual portions, or cut slices and top each with mixed berries and a mint spring.

• For an easy, long-lasting centerpiece use potted plants. Many supermarkets sell potted plants at great prices. Rosemary plants make a beautiful and fragrant addition to the holiday table. Try setting out two pots of rosemary wrapped in red foil, then put them on either side of a glass vase or jar filled with red ornaments. No matter how you dress your table for the holidays, the food is the real star of the show. This delicious cheesecake recipe from Travis will look good on any plate – and taste even better. For more entertaining tips and recipes, visit www. facebook.com/mikasadining. d D

Source: Lifetime Brands, Inc.


pestfree be merry and

this holiday season

After the last of the Thanksgiving turkey leftovers have been eaten, and pumpkin decor is put away for the season, many families bring out their Christmas decorations and holiday baking supplies. While the advent of the season is joyful, it's important to take pest-prevention precautions to avoid turning visions of sugarplums into pestinfestation nightmares. The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) cautions seasonally spirited decorators to check greenery and Christmas trees for signs of pests before bringing them indoors. NPMA's vice president of Public Affairs, Missy Henriksen, suggests that many indoor spider infestations start when they are brought inside via Christmas trees and holiday greens. "As spider populations tend to hide in fresh trees that have recently been cut down, consumers should carefully cull their trees for webs or the presence of spiders before bringing them into the house." Consumers are also advised to inspect holiday decorations that have been stored in non-pest proof To make sure containers in attics, garages, sheds you and your and basements -- all popular refuge family can enjoy the spots for pests. Henriksen warns, delights of the season, "Rodents can easily end up in imvisit www.pestworld.org properly stored tree trimming sup-



for additional tips on

plies and then are unknowingly brought into living and family rooms." The easiest way to prevent this most unwanted decoration is to inspect cardboard boxes and paper or plastic bags that held holiday items in the off-season for rodent gnaw marks and visible droppings. This check is best performed in the garage or other area outside of the house to prevent any live rodents from getting loose inside the house. Pantry pests, such as earwigs, Indian meal moths and silverfish, are another seasonal pest problem that surface during the holiday season and often seem to appear from out of nowhere. These pests are attracted to ingredients commonly used in baking, including flour, spices, candies and chocolate. Holiday bakers who use these items sparingly throughout the year may find some unappetizing surprises inside previously opened packages or in storage containers. To deter these pests, it's important to wipe up crumbs or spills from countertops, store food in airtight containers, purchase food in sealed packages that show no sign of damage and consider adding bay leaves to containers of dry goods as their scent repels many pantry pests.d D

keeping pests out of your home during this holiday time.

fall 2012 | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

9


finance

savemoney ways to

on health insurance

The overwhelming mass of uninsured Americans is firsthand evidence that health insurance is too expensive -- as if we didn't already know.

On average, middle-income families with individual coverage spend 22 percent of their income on health care. Others pay up to 50 percent of their household income on health coverage, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. To avoid paying more for less quality coverage, it's essential to compare insurance options and gather as many quotes as possible. There are, however, some other ways to save money on health insurance, too.

1. If you get a call from an insurance provider as part of an application process, do not divulge any additional details. Since these calls are usually recorded, disclosing extra info could come back to bite you as a higher premium. 2. Know your insurance policy well, and review it when needed. You should know precisely what services and costs are and are not covered. Visiting in-network doctors, for example, can save a lot of money. In the event of complex surgeries or assessments, ask both the doctor and insurance provider explicitly what is covered before undergoing a procedure. 3. Exhaust group insurance options before buying an individual policy. Group insurance is always cheaper, but if your employer doesn't offer health insurance, or if you're self-employed, consider other group options. Groups like labor unions, fraternal and business

10

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

organizations, student associations and other special-interest groups may offer coverage. 4. Consider reputable discount opportunities. Several states offer discount programs, the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and the Together Rx Access Card both save money on medication costs. Also, a new consumer-driven movement called All Our Power emerged recently that provides group buying power for individuals. As more people join the movement at www.allourpower.com, AOP negotiates with top insurance companies to secure lower rates for its members. 5. Regardless of your coverage, ask physicians and hospitals about paying for services in cash. Many hospitals offer huge discounts for patients paying in cash, but your insurance provider likely won't be forthcoming about that tidbit.d D


technology

bankaccount keeping your

safe on the internet Banking has never been easier; you're now able to check balances and transfer money directly from a computer, or even a smartphone.

However, despite precautions taken by your financial institution, online banking can be very dangerous. Cybercriminals create very sophisticated and threatening malware to target banking information for one simple reason: It's a cash cow.

"It's pretty shocking how many ways cybercriminals can jeopardize or access your financial records," says Ann Biddlecom, Product Marketing director for Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer of Internet security solutions. "For instance, if your computer or programs are infected, you could be led to a fake website posing as a legitimate site, but it hijacks your passwords and account numbers without you knowing. Or they can install a program that records the information you enter on your bank's website." More than 5,000 new malicious websites turn up every day, some of which are cleverly designed to mimic legitimate financial services websites. In fact, over a three-month period in 2012, Kaspersky Lab experts found more than 23,000 new malicious programs created to spy on your money. Studies show that Visit 60 percent of all consumers shop www.kaspersky. and bank online, and one-third of com to learn more those online shoppers store their about Safe Money

banking details on their computers, so the risk of their financial data being intercepted has never been higher. Software like Kaspersky Internet Security has technology that can protect you, such as its Safe Money feature. This feature is designed to protect all of your financial transactions by verifying websites before launching them and restricts how other programs access your data. In addition to using software such as Kaspersky Internet Security, follow these steps to ensure you are the only person with access to your banking information: • Always decline automatic log-in for online banking sites. It's also important to never save the password for your bank on your browser. • Always remember to log out and close your browser window on your smartphone or laptop when finished with your online session. • If you receive an email from your bank asking for your account information, do not follow the link in the email. Type the URL of your bank as you normally would, or call your bank to verify the request.d D

and protecting your personal information fall 2012 | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

11


entertainment

tylerperry: Noted Actor/ Producer/ Director Takes On New Role In the film Alex Cross, Tyler Perry’s crusading detective/ psychologist of the same name goes up against the psychotic mob hit man, Michael "The Butcher" Sullivan (Matthew Fox). As Cross investigates the hit man's gruesome murders, Sullivan continually evades Cross while pushing him to an ethical breaking point as a cop, a husband, a son, and a father. “I am sure a lot of people were confounded when they heard Tyler Perry was doing this character.” says director Rob Cohen. “He usually sticks to his own productions, but if you read Jim Patterson’s Alex Cross books, the character is a big and physical 40-year-old guy; and that’s Tyler. In fact, he’s truer to the character from the books than Morgan Freeman, who played the "Alex Cross" character in earlier films based on Jim's Alex Cross books. Bill Block, one of the film’s producers, says Jim Patterson was particularly concerned because it’s the origin story of the character. Also, since he created the character nearly 20 years ago, television has become chock full of procedural investigations shot as ‘walk-and-talks’. “We had to take this to another level,” Block says. His producing partner Paul Hanson agrees; “It’s more of a man-hunt movie, and from a visual standpoint, there are things which add to the cinematic experience that would be nearly impossible to recreate. To establish that understanding for the audience, we needed someone who

12

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

Crimefighter?

could envision things we couldn’t imagine. We got pretty lucky when Rob Cohen said yes. Cohen saw the potential in the script, but realized the “Cross” character had to be re-imagined from the books—as well as the two movies (Along Came a Spider and Kiss The Girls). Renowned for his direction of numerous action-oriented movies, Cohen realized the effect he wanted to create would come alive with some out-ofthe-box casting.


Enter Tyler Perry. Cohen met Perry in 2010, when he saw the actor in the stage production of Madea’s Family Reunion. Cohen says; “I wanted to see what the Tyler Perry phenomenon was all about. When we met after the show, I was amazed at how big he was. I told him he could be an action movie star. He sort of laughed and said well, maybe we’ll work something out. As luck would have it, Bill Block called me about this movie and wanted to know what I thought about

Tyler playing “Cross”. I told Bill with Perry’s acting chops, his physical size, and his commanding voice, having him do the role was a great idea.” In fact, the qualities Perry possesses are exactly what Jim Patterson envisioned 20 years ago when he created the “Alex Cross” character. “Tyler is physically perfect for ‘Alex Cross’,” says Patterson. “And, he’s going to blow people’s minds how good he is in a dramatic role. People have seen him do comedy and a little bit of drama but nothing like this. Yes, Morgan is a great actor. But Tyler is much closer to the “Alex Cross” in the books—both physically and age-wise.” says Patterson. For his part, Perry admits to a bit of trepidation upon stepping into the role. “Knowing Morgan Freeman had done this role was very, very intimidating—but also thrilling to know I took on something that Morgan had previously done.” says Perry. To prepare for his turn as “Alex Cross”, Perry rode along with Atlanta homicide detectives to get some first-hand experience. He also had to undergo rigorous training in the self-defense art of Krav Maga— to learn techniques used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies. “I trained about three times a week— it’s the most ass-kicking workout I’ve ever experienced,” says Perry.”d D

fall 2012 | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

13


urban wheel Honoring Women In The Automotive Industry For the past 17 years, the Urban Wheel Awards have trumpeted the accomplishments of people of color in the automotive industry. Hosted by the Emerging Diversity

Education Fund and Decisive Media, the theme of this year’s event is “Honoring Women In The Automotive Industry”. Female engineers, automotive designers, dealers, journalists, and executives of all races will get their

the only Mercedes-Benz dealership anywhere owned by an African-American woman. Ross is a member of the board of directors of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, and has been elected to the post of Chair of that organization for 2013. This will make her the first African American to hold that position. An active member of the Dayton community, serving on numerous boards, foundations and community service organizations, Ross has been honored on many occasions for her exemplary work. The Urban Wheel Awards will be presented in the Sound Board Theater at the MotorCity Casino Hotel on Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. For information about the event, call 707-645-0965, or visit UrbanWheelAwards.com.d D

evening in the spotlight on Sunday, January 13,

2013 as the Urban Wheel Awards event kicks off the biggest automotive week on the planet.

The only official multicultural event of the North American International Auto Show is the first formal gathering of the seven days of events surrounding the world’s most prestigious auto show. Among those to be honored this year are former automotive journalist Kathy Jackson, and Jenell Ross, president of Bob Ross Buick-GMC Mercedes-Benz Fiat of Centerville, Ohio (a suburb of Dayton). Ms. Jackson will receive the Urban Wheel Lifetime Achievement Award celebrating her storied career as an automotive journalist with Automotive News. One of the first black women to cover the auto industry, Jackson’s most prophetic story may have been her 1997 story on one Dave Smith Motors of Kellogg, Idaho—a small town of 3,000 people. Jackson reported Smith Motors sold 4,000 Dodge Rams in 1996—more trucks than there were people in Kellogg—making the dealership the second largest retail Dodge outlet in the country. How did they do it? By advertising on the Internet. Jackson’s report was the first indication of the impact the World Wide Web was to have on the automotive industry. Jenell Ross, the recipient of the Urban Wheel Pioneer Award, is the only second-generation African-American female automobile dealer in the country. Ross’ Mercedes-Benz of Centerville is the first AfricanAmerican owned Mercedes-Benz dealership in the U.S. Further, it’s Jenell Ross

16

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com


2013 newcar decisive's

buyer's guide

Extravagance Is A Standard Feature written by Christopher Emmy Jackson

Traditionally, when the economy tanks, the auto industry tends to take a conservative turn. Rather than risking alienating a shrinking pool of buyers, the gee-whiz factor gets scaled back in favor of more "sensible" products designed to appeal to customers who are understandably tightening their belts. That doesn't seem to have happened with the recent economic downturn, though. Even while the stock market fell and unemployment rose, the march of automotive technology seemed to continue unabated. Rather than becoming less extravagant, new

cars have become more exciting and more lavish than ever. Whether you believe the economy has turned the corner or not, 2013's crop of new cars are exceptionally optimistic. Yes, the vehicles are smaller and more efficient, but

they're also packed with more technology than ever before. We've even got a few new supercars on deck, providing fresh dream material for gearheads of all economic brackets.

Aston Martin AM310 Vanquish: New Aston Martins don't come along every year, so the all-new AM310 Vanquish, which replaces the DBS, is definitely a big deal. Aston's traditionally burly-yet-genteel styling language makes the car's parentage unmistakable. Meanwhile, a 565-horsepower, 6.0 liter V12 provides significant motivation. An increase in interior room gives the Vanquish more credibility as a grand touring car. It'll be available in the UK this fall.

fall 2012 | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

17


Audi S6 and S7: Graduating to Audi's performance class, the new A6 and A7 full-size sedans are beefed up with 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 engines producing 420 horsepower. It's a change from the gas-sucking V10s that powered the last S6, improving efficiency while still maintaining a subfive-second 0-60 run. The S-models are set apart by large, "single-frame" grilles and subtle body kits.

BMW X1: Though it has been available since 2009 in Europe, we finally got the long-nosed subcompact X1 crossover in September. For the U.S. market, BMW provides a choice of 245-horsepower four-cylinder and 306-horsepower straight six engines. All-wheel drive and BMW's awesome driving dynamics are standard.

Buick Encore: Buick's staying at the leading edge of the compact-luxury wave with the Encore, which debuts early next year as the smallest luxury crossover on the market and possibly the smallest Buick ever. The Koreanbuilt Encore is just 168 inches long, seats five and features active noise cancellation. You’ll also find Buick-style amenities and a 140-horsepower, 1.4-liter turbocharged four with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Buick Verano Turbo: Buick’s product team seems to have its eye on Acura with the turbocharged Verano. While it doesn't look too much different from the naturally aspirated Verano, a seventy-horsepower jump to 250 is nothing to scoff at. A choice of manual or automatic transmissions is offered. The Verano Turbo sports standard leather upholstery, a backup camera, and an upgraded sound system.

cadilac ats: Cadillac revamps its sedan lineup for 2013, and the new ATS is a big part of that. Junior to the CTS, the rear-drive ATS has been developed for entertaining performance, and is available with a choice of four- and six-cylinder engines—up to a 321-horsepower direct-injection V6. Minimalist styling inside and out gives the ATS a clean, modern look and cool details like illuminated door handles, real wood and carbon fiber trim and ambient interior lighting give the ATS luxury credibility. The sporty suspension flexed its muscles at Germany's Nurburgring during testing. cadillac xts: For 2013, the STS and DTS are both gone, replaced by a single model. The all-wheel drive XTS features all of the toys, from a head-up display to the new CUE interactive infotainment system. Standard equipment includes Cadillac's Magnetic Ride Control, Brembo brakes, adaptive cruise control, a cross-traffic alert and blind spot warning system, capless fuel filler, heated front and rear seats, and remote start. And because it's a Cadillac, there's also a massive 18 cubic-foot trunk out back.

Chevrolet Impala: Did you forget the Impala was still in production? Not a surprise, since it hasn't changed much in six years. The all-new 2014 Impala arrives early next year, with a Camaro-inspired design and three new four- and six-cylinder direct-injection engines. Automatic cruise control, a lane departure warning system, and upgraded infotainment packages are available.


Ferrari F12berlinetta: In keeping with Ferrari's new, avant-garde naming scheme, the 599 GTB Fiorano's replacement becomes the F12berlinetta. The F12berlinetta's hood covers a massive 6.3-liter, 730-horsepower V12 connected to a F1-style seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Shorter, lighter and more powerful than the 599 GTB, the F12berlinetta has the distinction of being one of the fastest road-going Ferraris ever with a reported 3.1-second 0-60 run.

Fiat 500L: Perhaps as a challenge to the MINI Countryman, Fiat's 500 grows in 2013. The 500L features two additional doors and a lot more cargo room, with the same cheeky modern styling that sets the 500 apart. Unlike the Countryman, only a front-wheel drive model is expected.

Ford Focus ST: Ford offers its first serious challenger in the hot sportcompact set since the SVT Focus. The Focus ST gets some of its DNA (and much of its attitude) from European world rally championship cars, while picking up Mustang-like styling cues, in addition to a 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. Pricing's expected to start at $24,495.

Ford C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi: Ford's C-MAX ensures Toyota's Prius v won't be the only cargo-carrying hybrid on the block. This tall five-door hatchback features a compact lithium-ion battery that doesn't intrude on interior space. C-MAX is available as a conventional hybrid or in plug-in hybrid form as the Energi. Functional details like a hands-free tailgate, SmartGauge with EcoGuide, and active parking assist are available.

Ford Fusion: New from the ground up, the Ford Fusion does away with V6 power in favor of a more powerful and more efficient 237-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection four-cylinder. It's one of three fourcylinders available to power the updated family sedan, whose Aston Martinlike looks clothe optional features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, active parking assist, and a blind spot warning system.

Honda Accord: An all-new, bulkier-looking Honda Accord arrives for 2013, sporting styling cues from the Crosstour in the expected two- and four-door models. A new continuously variable transmission improves fuel economy, and a 185-horsepower four-cylinder engine is standard. The CVT bumps fuel economy to 36 on the freeway, and pricing starts at just under $22,000.

lexus es: Over the years, the Lexus ES has grown and changed from the "junior" luxury car to a midrange, midsize vehicle that goes a long way toward defining the class. For 2013, a ground-up redesign aims to change the wallflower aspect of its attitude. The distinctive new "spindle" grille and a more substantial body combine with a totally revamped interior swathed in luxury for an experience that's familiar yet all-new. Conventional and hybrid versions are available, as always.


lexus gs: It broke cover over a year ago, but the 2013 Lexus GS is now officially on the streets. Bulked up and beefed up to do battle with Audi and BMW, Lexus' big sport sedan nonetheless retains a unique identity thanks to a new family grille and muscular styling that eschews the typical bigflares, big-spoilers look of some sports sedans. The suspension features selectable drive modes, and both the GS 350 and GS 450h are powered by V6 engines to maintain decent fuel economy.

Lincoln MKZ: Dream car styling distinguishes the newest Lincoln MKZ, as the marque continues putting the distinctive split-grille styling from its concept cars onto the street. The new MKZ is available with a 2.0-liter fourcylinder, a 300-horsepower 3.7 V6 or a hybrid that gets 41 mpg in the city. A panoramic sunroof, 1950s-style pushbutton transmission and adaptive cruise control are also available.

MINI Paceman: MINI expands its lineup yet again by chopping two doors off of the "maxi-MINI" Countryman crossover, resulting in the Paceman all-wheel drive hatchback coupe. Powertrains are expected to be similar to those of the Countryman.

nissan sentra: The somewhat boring Sentra grows up for 2013, with a new design to match its big brothers, a new 130-horsepower 1.8-liter engine that's capable of up to 39 mpg on the freeway, a new CVT and a range of infotainment features to take it into premium-compact territory. The design makes the car look larger than it is; dimensions remain about the same as the outgoing model.

porsche boxster: While it might not be readily apparent at a glance, thanks to Porsche's typically conservative design tweaks, the 2013 Boxster is all-new. Lighter, faster and more fuel-efficient, the new Boxster provides exotic-car performance at a real-world price. A choice of flat-six engines rides amidships, providing 265 or 315 horsepower, depending upon whether you select the Boxster or Boxster S. Porsche's seven-speed Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) dual-clutch transmission is available just like for its 911 big brother. Other features adopted from the 911 include Porsche Active Suspension Management, Porsche Torque Vectoring, and Launch Control. A longer wheelbase improves stability and also makes the new Boxster look more exotic.

SRT Viper: Now the flagship of Chrysler's freshly-minted SRT brand, the Viper is all-new yet hasn't changed much, at least in terms of its philosophy. A 640-horsepower, 8.0-liter V10 powers the rear wheels and rockets this carbon fiber and aluminum exotic to ludicrous speeds just as eagerly as ever. Stability control and more creature comforts are now standard.


Subaru BR-Z/Scion FR-S: It's gonna be hard to convince folks that these twin cars, the result of an unlikely collaboration between Subaru and Toyota, aren't Miatas with roofs. Nor is the urge to think of the Honda S2000. The BR-Z and FR-S feel a bit less caffeinated than the S2000 and a bit more hardcore than the Miata, and that's where they fit for now. The flat-four 2.0-liter engine combines Subaru's usual layout with Toyota direct injection to produce 200 horsepower while still getting up to 34 mpg on the freeway. Light weight and agile performance are also on the menu of course. Since one usually has to call up BMW and pay accordingly to procure a long-nosed, short-bodied, athletic sedan of this ilk, we doubt many people are going to complain.

Subaru XV Crosstrek: It may have a complicated name, but the idea behind the XV Crosstrek is pretty simple; it's a crossover'd Impreza wagon, with a lifted suspension providing 8.7 inches of ground clearance and all-wheel drive. Subaru's 148-horsepower boxer four-cylinder is backed up by a larger fuel tank for a greater cruising range, and the styling has been suitably beefed up.

toyota avalon: The conservative Avalon is all-new for 2013, adopting much more aggressive and expressive design similar to that of the new Lexus midrange as well as debuting the first hybrid in the large sedan's history. Features like the shelf-like dash and infotainment center and available leather-wrapped interior seem to have been borrowed from Lexus as well.

tesla model s: Now that Fisker's made the sport-luxury range-extended electric sedan respectable, Tesla's ready to answer its rival electric upstart. The popular Tesla Roadster is gone for 2013, but the Model S sedan is ready to replace it as the tiny company's sole offering. Much more plush than the Roadster was, the Model S features a massive 17-inch touchscreen display on the dash, a panoramic glass roof, USB chargers for phones and other devices, and two trunks for SUV-like cargo capacity. A choice of three battery-operated powertrains is offered, and Tesla has recently gotten into the business of building charging stations so that its cars can start competing with gasoline-powered vehicles on longer trips as well. Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid: The new Jetta Hybrid is geared as much for performance as it is fuel economy, considering its 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and seven-speed DSG transmission. The system makes 177 total horsepower and can run on full-electric power up to 44 mph. When the battery is charged, the Jetta Hybrid can also coast gasoline-free on the highway. Fuel economy is expected to be in the mid- to high forties.

Volkswagen Beetle Convertible: We're headed into cooler weather, but the arrival of the ragtop version of the redesigned Beetle shouldn't come as a surprise. The convertible top mimics the flat-roof styling of the new coupe, and engine availability is the same, including the new 2.0-liter TDI clean diesel.


first drives

bmw M5 2013

Consider The Bar Raised—Yet Again.

The word fast hardly begins to describe the 2013 BMW M5. Zero to 60 happens in 4.1 seconds. The BMW runs the quarter in just over 12 seconds. It pulls nearly a full .g on the skidpad and were it not for the 155 miles per hour gentleman’s velocity limitation agreement between German manufacturers where four-door sedans are concerned, this new M5 would quite easily approach the 200 miles per hour mark. Turbocharging and direct fuel injection have taken over at BMW (like at most other manufacturers) so the new M5 uses a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 producing 560 horsepower and 500 ft-lbs of torque. By the way, those 502 ft-lbs of torque are available at 1,500 rpm, which basically means instantaneously. Like the previous version of the BMW, the 2013 M5 offers the driver the ability to tailor its key controls to taste. Steering effort, transmission shift speed (with the sequential gearbox), throttle response, and suspension damping are all adjustable. When you find two settings you like; say, one for driving hard and another for cruising, you can store and recall them at the touch of one of the two “M” buttons on the steering wheel. Two transmissions are offered, a six-speed manual, which is becoming more and more of an anachronism—and an outstanding seven-speed automated dual clutch sequential manual gearbox, which BMW refers to as the M-DCT (M-dual clutch transmission). We drove both and without question, the car feels more alive with the M-DCT. The six-speed manual’s throws were long, the gearbox felt vague, and frankly, we were left asking what’s the point of depressing a clutch pedal anymore?

22

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

If you’re the sort of driver who only feels connected when your car is demanding you put up with a harsh ride, a howling exhaust system and copious amounts of road noise, the 2013 BMW M5 might come across as a bit soft to you. On the other hand, if you’re a sophisticated driver who enjoys a truly fast and responsive automobile, but also appreciates the fact the car will drop away and become unobtrusive when you’re going about your day to day mundanities, you’ll covet this M5 just as much as every iteration of the BMW that came before it. In a word, this is the most sophisticated BMW M5 ever offered. Bottom line, BMW has raised the bar yet again. This new M5 represents nothing less than the reinvention of what an ultra high performance sports sedan is supposed to be. And, we like it. Pricing starts at $90,695 (including destination charges). For more on the 2013 BMW M5, visit Decisive.comd D


hyundaisantafe 2013

Now Available In Two Delicious Flavors

For 2013, the Hyundai Santa Fe takes on a dual role in the Korean automaker’s burgeoning North American lineup. Available in both long and short wheelbase (Santa Fe Sport) models, the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe brings a third row to Hyundai’s most popular crossover utility vehicle for the first time. Meanwhile, the short wheelbase Santa Fe Sport, continues along the more sporty path established by the cute ute at its introduction back in 2001. The long wheelbase model essentially replaces the Veracruz in Hyundai’s product portfolio. That model languished in the company’s showrooms—even while the Santa Fe was a perennial best seller. Three engines are offered for the 2013 models; a 2.4-liter inline four making 190 horsepower and 191 ft-lbs of torque (22 mpg-city/33highway), a 2.0-liter turbocharged four making 264 horsepower and 269 ft-lbs of torque (21-city/31-highway) and a 3.3-liter V6 (mounted exclusively in the long wheelbase model) delivering 294 horsepower and 252 ft-lbs of torque (19-city/26-highway). Hyundai’s proprietary six-speed automatic transmission is standard equipment across the board—regardless of engine choice. As with all the rest of Hyundai’s lineup, the new Santa Fe benefits mightily from handsome styling, smart packaging and a strong standard feature set. All-wheel drive models feature active cornering control to make the Santa Fe more responsive in tight turns, and a 550-watt audio system is available with Logic7 surround. The Santa Fe offers a panoramic sunroof, which effectively turns the cabin of the CUV into a greenhouse. With it, the lightness and airiness of the interior is distinctively remarkable. Other features include keyless entry and start, dual climate control, a cooled glovebox, and side window sunshades.

The overall design of the interior is pleasing to the eye and seating is quite competent. We spent the entire day behind the wheel of the Hyundai with no feelings of fatigue whatsoever. The steering wheel is heated, as are all four primary seating positions. Secondary controls are arranged with considerable logic—think of a function, put your hand where you think its control ought to be, and you’ll find it right where your hand went. Over the road, the Santa Fe is very stable—changes of direction are accomplished with considerable alacrity, while acceleration and braking are very competent. The steering system is adjustable, offering three variations of feel and responsiveness. Graced with a combination of handsome styling, a strong feature set, competent powertrain choices, and newfound passenger capacity, the future looks pretty bright for the 2013 Hyundai Santa Fe. Pricing starts at $25,275 (including destination charges).d D

fall 2012 | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

23


first drives

porsche911 2013

Carrera S Cabriolet

Open To Change The best part of our job is driving such sublimely enticing cars as the 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet. The worst part of our job is giving sublimely enticing cars back. And make no mistake; we were sorely tempted to make Porsche’s people come looking for us this time.

All you have to do is run that 400-horsepower, 3.8-liter flat six to redline one time… Actually, no… It starts when you see it parked there, knowing it’s yours to do with what you will. Ironically, the fluid curvaceousness of the Porsche makes you want to just sit and stare at it for a while. In particular, noting the way the convertible top gracefully flows into the overall design of the car. It looks like a coupe with a contrasting roof more than it does a convertible. The stance of the Porsche is mesmerizing too. Solidly planted on its 20-inch wheels and low profile tires, the 911 looks almost immobile, as if nothing could move it—other than itself. It’s a look wholly belying the fact the Porsche weighs only 3,230 pounds. Yes, 400 horsepower with only 3,200 pounds of

24

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

weight to move translates into significantly intoxicating performance potential. The 2013 Porsche 911 Carrera S Cabriolet is capable of accelerating to 60 miles per hour from rest in 4.5 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission our test car was fitted. Its top speed is 185 miles per hour. That solid look we referred to earlier precisely characterizes the Porsche in motion—even when approaching the limits of its cornering ability, braking potential, or accelerative promise. Then, there’s the sound the engine makes while it’s running hard. It’s a creamily congruent mechanical cacophony of perfectly blended resonances, orchestrated precisely to set your blood on fire. With the top down and the 911 Carrera S Cabriolet running free, every nerve ending in your body attunes to the experience. The stimulation is fully equivalent to the most pleasurable act you can imagine—whatever that might be for you. If automotive perfection can be said to exist, surely it must be in reference to this latest convertible iteration of Porsche’s iconic sports car. A product of some 49 years of evolution, the 2013 911 Carrera S Cabriolet is everything Porsche’s engineers have ever learned about building open sports cars. And trust us, they know one hell of a whole lot. Pricing starts at $93,700.d D


lexus LS 2013

When the Lexus LS was introduced in 1989, the car established a new paradigm for prestige automobiles. Naturally, it was quiet, smooth, comfortable, and exceptionally well appointed.

Quieter, Safer & Faster

But it was also thousands of dollars cheaper than competing models from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. While its pricing has pretty well achieved parity these days, the new 2013 Lexus LS has been reinvigorated to help keep it on top of the heap. First of all, a sport-oriented version of the car, the LS 460 F-Sport, has also been added lineup to broaden its appeal to performance-oriented luxury sedan intenders. Available in six different configurations (counting the all-wheel drive iterations); the LS 460, long wheelbase LS 460 L, and LS 600h L hybrid models have been infused with a number of refinements designed to make them quieter, better handling, and even more comfortable. Power comes from a 386-horsepower, 4.6-liter V8 generating 367 ft-lbs of torque. Rear drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission are standard. All-wheel drive is available for both the standard and long wheelbase models—although power output is reduced to 360 hp/347 ft-lbs for AWD versions. The AWD-only hybrid LS 600h L makes 438 horsepower. The suspension system was revised to provided a better ride, steering calibration was reworked to improve feel and responsiveness, brakes were improved, and the body was reinforced to improve stability. The shock absorbers communicate with one another and respond individually to provide the smoothest ride possible. Hollow chamber wheels permit the air from the tires to pass through the wheels to provide more displacement over bumps to help quiet the ride.

With Pre Collision Safety and Collision Avoidance assist the LS will stop itself at speeds under 24 miles per hour if a collision is imminent. Smart cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and smart headlamps are also fitted. The Lexus Climate Concierge permits individual heating and cooling of the four primary seating positions—including the seats themselves. The reclining right rear seat of the long wheelbase model’s executive package gets an extendable footrest, infotainment system controls, a Blu-ray DVD player, and Shiatsu massage. The LS 460 F-Sport packs Brembo brakes, aggressively bolstered seats, a sport-tuned air suspension system, and 19-inch forged alloy wheels. Pricing starts at $71,990 for the rear-drive LS 460, the long wheelbase all-wheel drive hybrid LS 600h L starts at $119,910.d D

fall 2012 | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

25


travel

a

mini Getaway Three Perfect Days In Vancouver written by Lyndon Conrad Bell

The list of cities immortalized in song typically comprises the same old bergs over and over again; San Francisco, Rome, New York City, Paris, Las Vegas, et.al. But after spending three days in Vancouver, British Columbia, we came away wondering how that town got missed.

26

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

Easily the cleanest city we’ve ever visited, even the “seedy” part was cleaner than a number of cities with songs. Of course, a significant part of our enjoyment of Vancouver arose from enjoying its perfectly temperate September weather from behind the wheel of MINI’s Cooper S Roadster. Nestled in the southwest corner of Canada’s British Columbia, Vancouver is spectacularly situated on a peninsula caressed by three different bodies of water; Burrard Inlet, False Creek and English Bay. An outrageously beautiful setting for a city, an evening flight over Vancouver leaves jaws agape, eyes mesmerized, and hearts aglow. Driving the MINI around was quite easy once we got acclimated to the grid pattern of the downtown thorough-


fares. Streets run north to south, while avenues run east to west. Avenues are numbered; 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and etc.—while streets are named. Broadway is the east/west exception to the avenue numbering rule – were it designated an avenue it’d be 9th. From our base at the centrally located Four Seasons Hotel (791 W. Georgia Street -604.689.9333) the emerald green jewel of the peninsula upon which Vancouver is situated was a very short drive away. An urban oasis of some 1000 acres, Stanley Park is named after the same guy professional hockey’s Stanley cup is named for. The park’s seawall, at 5.5 miles long, offers some of the grandest views of mountains, sea, city, and sky the earth affords. Stanley Park’s outdoor gallery of Totem poles acknowledges the indigenous people of the area, while its Teahouse Restaurant offers exquisitely fine dining and an affable wait staff

(7501 Stanley Park Drive - 604.669.3281). On the other side of town, the Sun Yat Sen garden (named for the first president and founding father of the Republic of China) is the first authentic classical Chinese garden ever built outside of China. Adhering strongly to the Daoist design principles of harmonious living, the garden anchors Vancouver’s Chinatown district. At once a living museum, a window into history, and an art gallery, it’s a place of harmony and quiet wonder. Built 25 years ago, the Sun Yat Sen garden (578 Carrall Street 604.662.3207) is both deeply rooted in Vancouver’s past and profoundly beloved in its present. Comfortable, capacious and laughably easy to park, the MINI Cooper S Roadster was a perfect city car. When it was time to get out on the open road and have some fun, the diminutive droptop eagerly rose to the occasion as well. To let the MINI stretch its legs a bit, we headed north across the Lions Gate Bridge out of Stanley Park for a brisk drive up the Sea To Sky Highway (British Columbia Highway 99). Running toward the mountain resort town of Whistler, the scenery along the Sea To Sky will literally take your breath away. Meanwhile, its gorgeously smooth pavement, nicely banked sweeping turns, and very light traffic gave the Cooper S Roadster a chance to demonstrate its capabilities. The 2,745-pound MINI’s turbocharged 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine placed 181 horsepower and 177 ft-lbs of torque at our disposal. The positively gated sixspeed manual transmission and its smooth clutch take-up were an absolute joy. With the top down, windows up and the seat heaters toasting our buns, the delightfully agile MINI provided a thrilling platform from which to enjoy the vistas. For our two evening meals out, we dined with views of the city. Our first was at the Top Of Vancouver revolving restaurant (555 W. Hastings Street - 604.669.2220). A delightful menu was accompanied by a good wine list and very professional service. Given the restaurant caters to tourists our expectations weren’t especially high, but it turned out to be a very pleasurable (if somewhat pricey) evening. The sunset and ever changing views of Vancouver’s skyline were significant enhancements to a memorable evening. Our other (equally pricey) dining experience was at the Observatory at Grouse Mountain (6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver - 604.998.4403). The food was divine, the wine was nice, and the view of Vancouver was absolutely gorgeous. The dining room was nicely appointed—if a tad on the small side—but the service was highly unprofessional. (At one point the waiter literally put his armpit in my dining companion’s face as he reached across to clear a dish). And, while the tram ride up to the restaurant affords some thrilling views of the city, you’ll share it with people who have spent the day enjoying very strenuous outdoor sports activities— and their constituent body odors. But, that was the only thing that stunk about our MINI adventure in Vancouver. Easily one of the most beautiful cities on earth, the British Columbian metropolis rates a spot on every traveler’s must-see list.d D

fall 2012 | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

27


long term

Hyundai Veloster A Winning Personality & Competence Besides The first time we laid eyes on the Hyundai Veloster at the press conference announcing the , weConrad knew itBell would Written by car Lyndon be a head turner. But we wondered how practical it’d be to live with. Going into the sixth of our 12 months with the Hyundai, we’re happy to report the Veloster is performing outstandingly well as an around town runabout. Plus, it does it with a lot of style. It’s fully capable of hauling anything the lovely and adventurous Mrs. L.I.R. Bell finds on her shopping excursions. The Hyundai gets her lots of compliments on her excellent taste in automobiles as well. People are consistently amazed to learn the Veloster is a Hyundai. The interior treatment is one of her favorite aspects of the Veloster. Laid out to resemble a motorcycle, everything is well within reach and it’s good-looking besides. She’s particularly fond of the voice activated telephone features and the backup camera. Loaded with features, our Hyundai is outfitted more like a $60,000 high-end luxury car than it is a $20,000 entry-level model. Gas prices hit just shy of $5.00 a gallon around here recently, but she didn’t even flinch. She’s averaging 29 miles per gallon with the Hyundai, and considering the vast majority of her driving is done on city streets, that’s really good mileage. Especially when you consider the Veloster also runs on the least expensive to purchase regular fuel. Mrs. Me does occasionally wish for a bit more than the 138 horsepower

28

decisive magazine | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

and 123 ft-lbs of torque the 1.6-liter inline four affords her, but she isn’t complaining about the gas mileage at all. I had occasion to take the Veloster on a road trip of some 250 miles recently down to the Monterey Peninsula from our home in the San Francisco Bay Area. On the highway the Veloster is remarkably stable, and very smooth riding, even with its low profile tires. There is a bit more road noise than is ideal, but overall the Veloster held its own on the highway quite well. Passing maneuvers took a bit of planning, but the Hyundai did an excellent job of maintaining reasonably high average speeds—and returned some 38 miles per gallon in the process. Things are so far so good as we go into the rainy season that passes for winter here by the San Francisco Bay.d D


S av e T h e D aT e Sunday, January 13, 2013 Sound Board MotorCity Casino Hotel Detroit, Michigan

Honoring Women in the Automotive Industry For Sponsorship Information or Tickets: Email: events@decisivemag.com Call: Decisive Media: 301-850-2858 Proceeds to benefit the Emerging Diversity Education Fund (Scholarships, Internships, and Mentoring)

The Official Multicultural Event of the North American International Auto Show

Emerging Diversity Education Fund

d

DECISIVE

m e d i a

Experience the all new online

DECISIVE MULTIMEDIA The Best Source for Cultural and Consumer News: Decisivemagazine.com

> Beauty & Fashion > Travel > Technology > Home & Garden > Business & Finance > Entertainment > Car Buying Services

> Expert Advice on Products & Services > Blogging with the Experts & Editors > 411 Product Tips & How-to Content > Health & Fitness

dDECISIVE

SUBSCRIBE TO E-NEWSLETTERS AND DIGITAL E-MAGAZINES

The Best Source for Cultural and Consumer News

fall 2012 | www.DecisiveMagazine.com

29


WE

SWEATED

THE

SMALL

S T U F F.

WE DIDN’T START WITH L AST YE AR’S MODEL: WE STARTED FROM SCRATCH. WE BUILT THE INTERIOR A RO U N D T H E CUS TO M IZ A BL E, F U L LY* DI G I TA L DA S H BOA RD A N D T H E 8.4 - I N CH TO U CH S CREE N , A N D W E SURROUNDED THEM BOTH WITH RACETRACK LIGHTING. OUR PERFORATED LE ATHER SE ATS COMPLEMENT THE LINERS AND DOOR PANELS. THIS ISN’T A PATCHWORK OF UPGRADES. IT’S ONE CAR, DESIGNED IN ONE GO. I T ’S W H AT H A P PENS W HEN YOU DO T HIN GS RIGH T. RIGH T N OW.

R/T MODEL SHOWN WITH OPTIONAL FEATURES. AVAILABLE 1ST QTR 2013. *ANALOG TACHOMETER AND FUEL GAUGES. DODGE IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF CHRYSLER GROUP LLC.


aa decisive fall 2012 f