Talking Cars: Three cars to drive some day
QUESTION: I read your column every week and especially enjoy when you write about the new cars you test drive. Can you write on a few different vehicles this week?
ANSWER: Here are a few test drives.
The first is the 2013 Ford Fusion turbo charged four-cylinder 2.0 liter mated to a six-speed automatic. Our test car had all popular options. The four-cylinder turbo acts like a powerful V/6. The car seats five and looks more like an expensive Aston Martin. There is no question that Ford has taken a lot of time and effort on this vehicle.
Next how about a Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet seven-speed manual? That’s right, seven-speed manual transmission. The much improved 3.4 six-cylinder non-turbo pumps out 350 HP. The large performance brakes combined with the big 19-inch tires bring the car to a stop in a hurry. The 911 is a car that you need to drive, it’s not just a car to go for a ride in and get you from place to place. The top goes down in seconds with the push of a button. Another big improvement is the Bose audio system. The fit and finish was perfect, and there is no wind noise on the highway from top or window seals. Porsche vehicles still have a look as no other car and never lost the tradition and brand loyalty. Base price on this 911 is $93,700, as tested $120,325.
Now to the Cadillac ATS 3.6-liter 321 HP V/6 all-wheel drive Luxury Collection edition. This is an all-new car from Cadillac with a lot of new electronic features. The car seats four adults, five in a pinch. The car resembles my own personal CTSV from the outside. The ATS replaced the long-running large front drive V/8 DTS, and I truly miss it. This new ATS takes some time to get used to and warm up to. I miss the simple radio and heater controls. The 3.6 delivers plenty of power through the six-speed automatic transmission. The car comes in a variety of configurations, rear or all-wheel drive, and from the base up to the premium 3.6L all-wheel drive at $47,795. Base cost of the four-cylinder rear drive starts at $33,095.
Our test car had a base price of $43,195 and with all options it had retail at $46,085. The car drove smoothly, plenty of power, and you could hear the engine under hard acceleration like any performance car. The interior has both style and flash. The large touch navigation screen doubles as the command center for the optional Cadillac user experience center (CUE). You will need to both read up and spend time at the delivery with the sales person to understand all the functions of the CUE system. The optional crystal red tint coat was flawless, and the finish until recently could only be found on expensive imports. To sum it up, I miss the old interior controls and the roar of the old V/8. I am glad to see the rear wheel drive making a comeback.
Junior Damato writes regularly about cars. You can send questions to him care of the Old Colony Memorial, 182 Standish Ave., Plymouth, MA 02360.