Make us your home page
Instagram
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

The Daily Drivers: A look at recent updates in various car models, including the Corvette

Sometimes we find ourselves in a quandary: We get a new model year of a car we've driven but there aren't enough differences to justify a full review. So here are brief looks at some recent cars with incremental changes.

Honda Crosstour: The biggest change from the 2010 model we reviewed is what Honda dropped — the "Accord" name. Otherwise the 2012 Crosstour has undergone minor nips and tucks. The front grille is more subdued and less stout. But the rounded, too-big back end remains. New standard features are available in the EX, including the auto on/off headlights, a rearview camera, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink and USB audio interface. Original review: tinyurl.com/ timescrosstour

Suzuki Kizashi (CVT): This is our first time in the Kizashi without a manual. Like other CVTs we've driven, the "performance tuned" Continuously Variable Transmission is loud and leaves you wanting more power, but it does come with improved mpg to 23 city, 30 highway for the FWD trim. The handling, on the other hand, is spirited with sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels. With 14 trim levels, there are configurations and pricing for every taste. The Kizashi deserves more notice. Original review: tinyurl.com/timeskizashi

Kia Rio sedan: Much like its five-door sibling, the Rio is a worthy contender in the subcompact arena. The 1.6-liter 4-cylinder is mated with a 5-speed automatic, and adds plenty of pep for your daily commute. Our SX tester was equipped with the premium package, which includes the navigation system, sunroof, push-start button, leather seat trim and front heated seats to bring the price to an attractive $20,545. If you're not a hatchback fan, this is worth a look. Original review: t inyurl.com/timesrio

Fiat 500 Pop: The top-of-the-line Fiat 500C Lounge with a six-speed automatic transmission left us underwhelmed with its acceleration, especially in highway driving. The five-speed manual transmission in the base Pop, however, was more competent on the road. Shifting was light and lively. Our tester was one of Fiat's unconventional colors: Verde Chiaro (a light sage green) with ivory brown interior. Either way, the little cars are attention-getters. Our tester was $16,700 with a wheel option and delivery fee. Original review: tinyurl.com/timesfiat

Acura TSX Wagon: Acura tweaked more life into the 2012 TSX wagon and we noticed. Torque is up, and there is stronger throttle response that results in better acceleration. The body got some aerodynamic adjustments. It's wider by 3 inches for a more stable and agile ride. Inside, the seating positions have been lowered for increased headroom. The cabin is also quieter because of acoustic glass windshield and thicker glass. And, most important for a wagon, the cargo space is up by 5.7 cubic feet. Original review: tinyurl.com/timestsxwagon

Chevrolet Corvette Coupe: This Inferno Orange car was certainly a stunner. The coupe's roof is removable, but you'll need help to lift it away. The gray five-spoke aluminum wheels added to its menacing look, but with an automatic transmission, we found acceleration wanting. As a friend of Peter's said: "430 horsepower isn't what it used to be." Sadly, in an era of horsepower wars, it's true. The 'Vette is a performance bargain, but we'd like to try the manual version, not to mention the Z06 and ZR1. We agree with those who fault its tired interior. Grand Sport Convertible review: tinyurl.com/timescorvette

The Daily Drivers: A look at recent updates in various car models, including the Corvette 05/11/12 [Last modified: Friday, May 11, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes

    Transportation

    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community for the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at DOT's Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Ave. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON | Times]
  2. Claim: State pressured CFO, used secret recordings to shut down Universal Health Care

    Banking

    ST. PETERSBURG — The founder of St. Petersburg's Universal Health Care alleges that Florida regulators conspired with the company's chief financial officer to drive the once high-flying Medicare insurer out of business.

    Federal agents raided the headquarters of Universal Health Care in 2013, ordering employees to leave the building. The insolvent St. Petersburg Medicare insurer was then in the process of being liquidated by state regulators.
[DIRK SHADD   |   Times file photo]

  3. Aramis Ayala defends stance against death penalty: 'I did what I believe was proper'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala on Wednesday defended her "absolute discretion" to never seek the death penalty in murder cases, as skeptical justices of the Florida Supreme Court bombarded her lawyer with sharp questions.

    Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala, far right, said she was "very well pleased" with her lawyer's case. "I violated no laws." [STEVE BOUSQUET | Times]
  4. Tampa Chamber of Commerce offers boost to black and Hispanic-owned businesses

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — There's a disconnect in Hillsborough County's minority business community.

    Gaston Meredith of Gaston's Culinary Services listens to LaKendria Robinson, Director of Minority Business Accelerator & Economic Inclusion during an information session at the Robert W. Saunders Library in Tampa on Tuesday.
[OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  5. Wesley Chapel, Greater Pasco chambers of commerce merge

    Business

    LAND O'LAKES — Two chambers of commerce representing more than 850 business members from west Pasco to Wesley Chapel and New Tampa are merging into a single organization.

    Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Hope Allen will lead the combined chambers of commerce announced Wednesday. The yet-to-be-named chamber will represent more than 850 businesses that currenlty are members of the Greater Pasco and Greater Wesley Chapel chambers.
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]