It’s been a number of years since I last drove the Ford Focus. For 2012 we got an all-new model based on the same platform the Europeans have – a first, because we’ve always been at least one step behind them since the initial model came out in 2001. While we got the “completely new” 2001 Focus, the Europeans were already moving on to the 2nd generation of its development in 2002. Now, after much anticipation we’re on par with the Focus development – was it worth the wait? Let’s find out….
The next-generation Honda Civic arrived late in 2005 as a 2006 model, and as with the previous generation, it is available as a coupe, 4-door and as a hybrid. Although Honda has since discontinued the Accord hybrid, they continue offering it in the Civic. Over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to road test Ford, Lexus and Toyota’s take on the hybrid, so I was long overdue to give the Honda hybrid a work-out. Visually, the only way to tell the hybrid from the regular Civic is by the 15” full-face aluminum rims that look like wheel covers and the tiny wing on the trunk lid along with the hybrid badge on the back.
Mazda call the MAZDASPEED3 “The Wild Child“ – they even have a cool commercial that we’ve included at the end of this road test! When I picked up the MAZDASPEED3, I’d just finished a week of terrorizing the neighborhood with the MAZDASPEED6. I was blown away with the 6, but I wasn’t expecting the 3 to be this much fun! Calling it a Wild Child describes this car perfectly. If you have a need for speed – this is your car!
It’s been a number of years since I last drove a Volkswagen. I’ve always liked them but never really had the urge to put my hands in my pocket and pay for one. I always found another car to lust after with my own money. I know several people that actually own one or more, and they are very passionate about their love of the brand/car. They usually don’t settle for one – there’s usually another one to replace the last and it happens perpetually. For the sake of journalism, I had to find out what the big deal was/is with Volkswagen. Why this cult-like mentality?