About: Autolove

Joe Mavilia is a syndicated columnist with more than 35 years in the automotive industry. He is a member of the Motor Press Guild and Automotive Press Association. His reviews have been published in print media including the Los Angeles Times, The Golden Transcript - Colorado, La Feria News - Texas, The Pasadena Weekly - California, and others around the country, including www.theweekenddrive.com where he is the West Coast Editor. Reviews and Opinion Columns may also be seen in Sunnews.org and The Country Journal every week in the Antelope Valley, CA. I hope they are helpful

Recent Posts by Autolove

1997 Acura 2.2CL 2-Door Premium (91)


Yes, this weeks car is a 1997 and it’s not a typo. The Acura 2.2 CL is a bit more up-scale from the cheap football jerseys cars reviewed over the last couple of weeks, (Hyundai and Saturn in the $14,000 range) at $23,000 plus. If this is in your price range this, new to the market car, is worth test driving.

I think in many ways buying a car is like choosing a mate…very personal, but if you make a bad choice, you can sell the car. And since first impressions are lasting (in both cases), I can say this car reminds me a lot of a previous love, the Toyota Camry. This Acura is definitely a nice automobile and one you can fall in “like” with. When I fall in “love” it takes something faster and with more curve handling, like the Ferrari or Porsche, et al. More sexy, know what I mean. Anyway, after two compacts, this sub-compact provided a little more luxury, but I’m still wondering if there is $10,000 more in features, and ego puffing to justify the added cost.

Standard Equipment:

Well, everything is standard, so Kudos to Honda. And they’ve included lots of stuff, beginning with their 2.2 liter single overhead cam 16 valve 4 cylinder engine, programmed fuel injection, a 5-speed manual transmission, load sensing power assisted rack and pinion steering, 4-wheel power ABS disc brakes and double wishbone suspension with front and rear stabilizer bars, dual air bags, keyless entry & theft deterrent system, leather appointed seats, door panels and steering wheel with tilt column, center console, wood pattern dash and door trim, dual lighted vanities, trunk pass-through with lock, remote trunk & fuel lid releases, power windows & door locks, climate control, cruise control, 6 speaker AM/FM stereo with in-dash CD player, power moonroof, 6 way power seats with adjustable lumbar support, heat rejecting glass and power door mirrors. You probably have as keen a sense of the obvious as I do, and with all the foregoing, it ain’t hard to understand the cost difference between basic and luxury Melker Karlsson cheap jersey appointed cars. Toys cost money.

Gas Stats:

EPA numbers aren’t too bad at 25 City and 31 Highway MPG.


Standard Vehicle Price (MSRP) is $23,160 for everything. What you see is what you get. What a concept…. I love it…. Listen up Detroit.

For you old dude’s out there, students of history and trivia buffs, this concept isn’t new. Four score and 7 years ago, the Andreas Athanasiou elite jersey real father of our nation’s automobile revolution, Henry Ford, brought forth on this continent a new car, conceived in his mind and dedicated to the proposition that all men were created to own a car. So when the common man bought a Ford Model ‘T’, he could have it in any color and style he wanted, as long as it was black and exactly like all others that came off the production line. They were truly clones. That was 1909 and the cost was about $850. By 1927, the last year it was in production, the cost had come down to about $300, and 15 million had been sold. That accounted for fully half of every car on the road in 1927…in the world. Way to go, Hank.

Developments in Design
Contributed by: Merkel Weiss

CARS-R-US, Maybe

The new car marketing seahawk jerseys cheap business is like a graduate study course in psychology. We (the buyers) are divided up into personality stereotypes, and each large segment gets addressed with some kind of vehicle that is targeted to be relevant to the stereotype lifestyle. Does this sound a little like “we are what we drive”? Perhaps it is the other way around. Our vehicle is a reflection of the way we want people to see us. For example: Rough and tumble bad boy – try a Dodge pickup; Sporty and young – a Toyota RAV4 or maybe a Miata; Family with values – Mercury Sable or Buick Regal; Outdoorsy – definitely a Ford Explorer or Chevy Blazer; Young executive – Lexus LS300 or Mercedes E-Class.

Many new cars seek to redefine small niches within larger ones and have great success in doing so. For example BMW has driven a wedge into the center of the lucrative sedan market, the very same marketplace that was the bread and butter for GM and Ford. In fact, it’s a market segment that never really had much in the way of European competition in the past. In doing so, BMW has created a highly successful line of sport sedans bearing the image of “the ultimate driving machine”. Marketing genius.

These new market niche strategies are not always successful however. Witness Mazda who, only several years ago, announced they would concentrate their product line on narrow niche markets. They also make a fine lineup of sport sedans. Perhaps you have already read that due to poor sales, Mazda is now owned 33% and essentially controlled by Ford, and that the RX7 is scheduled to go out of production shortly. Marketing tragedy…the bewildering truth seems to be that the strategy of the marketing team can often be more important than Sergio Rodriguez elite jersey the car itself!

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

1969 special purpose – Chevrolet Trail Blazer (309)

This week we had the opportunity to go to the mountains in the Chevrolet Trail Blazer. Sequoia National Park where there are Lions, No Tigers, but lots of bears. I bumped into two but wasn’t in the Trail Blazer. Boy, that will get your heart started. and if you love cars as much cheap nfl jerseys as I do, this version of the Blazer will help you enjoy seeing the USA in cheap jerseys nfl your Chevrolet.

We toted gear for three people for a week very comfortably without using the roof rack. I’ve tested all the competition except the Ford Explorer, but generally if you turn them upside down you’ll find they’re all sisters. There simply isn’t enough difference in the lot to really get excited about. SUV’s are so popular manufacturers don’t seem to be willing to go too far out on the “difference limb”.

And although Explorer may lead the pack in sales, it isn’t by much and perhaps the slight increase in width and height of the Explorer over the Blazer is more important to buyers. I’ve owned lots of both Ford and Chevy’s and have usually opted for the Chevrolet family.

Handling & Performance:

Mineral King is at the south end of the Sequoia’s and was annexed not so long ago into the National Park. After leaving the main highway 198 through Visalia, you’ll have to negotiate 639 turns before you reach the Silver City store and cabins or camping areas. I didn’t tire a bit after the 4 hours of freeway driving to get to the turnoff from Los Angeles. The V6 delivered all the power needed to climb to 7000 feet over black top and dirt roads.


Ya gotta love GM for the consistent car lineup they’ve maintained over the years. Chevy products just exude confidence in the area of quality and command attention as being a leader in design. Jeep, on the other hand was first on cheap jerseys nfl the scene as far back as WWII and the standard on which others are measured. It’s always been a favorite of mine in this category.

Fit and Finish:



I never wanted for any feature. In fact, I’ve got to tell you a little story. I’m driving from Silver City to Mineral King were most of the trailheads start for the most beautiful hiking in any country. So I push the On Star blue button and wa-la, “Welcome to On Star – this is Brian, how can I help you?” Whoa, says I to Brian, I’m testing this and wanted to know if it would work here in the wilderness. Brian says, “I have you traveling east on Mineral King Road in a Trail Blazer”. Thanks, Brian and On Star. That is really convenient and adds comfort or peace of mind. And the On Star operators are always so damn polite. For more information, you can go to www.onstar.com.


If you could get it without the On Star you could save a bunch, but it appears to be standard.


To me, as noted above, Jeep is the benchmark of all SUV’s. Thus, I’d start there and test-drive all the competition in order of preference according to styling.

The competition:

Dodge Durango $26,310-28,310, Ford Explorer $19,970-34,565,Honda Passport $22,800-30,150, Jeep Grand Cherokee $26,895-34,635, Land Rover Discovery $33,350-34,150, Mitsubishi Montero Sport $20,493-28,524, Nissan Pathfinder $27,349-31,299, Toyota 4Runner $22,288-36,818.

Good News:

Comfortable ride and great seats for the 5-hour trek to Sequoia National Park, good handling, built like a rock? Well, maybe not that good but basically quality construction, autotrac / automatic 4-wheel drive works well, nice interior.

Bad News:

I keep harping on the poor gas mileage and no one listens, this is narrower than the Explorer, for example, therefore seating of 5 may be less comfortable than you’d like, poor visibility typical of all SUV’s.

Standard Equipment:

4.3 liter 190 horsepower V6 engine, 4-speed auto trans., autotrac 4X4 transfer case, climate control, power steering, daytime running lights, dual air bags, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, On Star system, stereo with CD, 18 gal fuel tank, theft deterrent system, 8-way power driver seat, keyless remote with theft alarm.

Gas Stats:

16 City and 20 Highway MPG.


MSRP $31,765.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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