Articles in Behind the Wheel

2012 BMW 650i Convertible Review and Test Drive

2012 BMW 650i Convertible Review and Test Drive

The BMW 650i Convertible is all-new for 2012 and the drop-top version is being introduced in the U.S. a few months in advance of the coupe, to take advantage of what will hopefully be a warm and sunny summer.
Gone are the odd-looking eyebrows over the headlamps and the odd-shaped trunk lid as well as other design elements championed by BMW’s former chief designer, Chris Bangle.  While there is a strong …

2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Review and Test Drive

2011 Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet Review and Test Drive

The Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet is one of the most unusual cars to visit my garage in recent years.  Built on the Murano crossover, it is the only car-based, all-wheel driver convertible crossover on the market.  Unlike most convertibles, which are sleek and low to the ground, this one is unusually tall at 66” (the new 2012 BMW 650i, which is close in length and width, is a foot shorter).
Two things …

BMW X3 xDrive35i Review and Road Test

BMW X3 xDrive35i Review and Road Test

First introduced in 2003, the BMW X3 is all new for 2011.  While over 600,000 original X3s were sold, including 150,000 in the U.S.  Production in Graz, Austria ended on August 31st of last year and production of the next generation X3 started the very next day, at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant.
The redesigned X3 neatly addresses the two criticisms that we had for the earlier version, namely insufficient …

Land Rover LR4 Review and Road Test – Off-Road Winter Driving in Vermont

Land Rover LR4 Review and Road Test – Off-Road Winter Driving in Vermont

The Land Rover LR4 is for many the epitome of what a Land Rover should be.  Known outside North America as the Land Rover Discovery 4, the LR4 was first introduced in 1989 and, although based on the Range Rover, was designed to compete with less expensive Japanese offerings.  It reached U.S. shores in 1994.  As I found out, the LR4 is an amazing snowmobile as well.
New for 2010, the …

Lexus LS 460 Sport Review

Lexus LS 460 Sport Review

With its massive Brembo brakes, split spoke 19” wheels, and 360° body kit, the first thought that came to mind when I saw the Lexus LS460 Sport sitting in my driveway was “a wolf in Lexus’ clothing”.
The Lexus LS line was updated for the 2010 model year and all models received new bumpers, lamps, grills, wheels, and fascias.  The Sport, however, got a more aggressive textured grill, sporty ten-spoke 19” …

BMW 535i GT Review and Road Test

BMW 535i GT Review and Road Test

To understand the BMW 535i GT, one must throw away several preconceived notions about cars and SUVs, including ride height, interior room, and handling.
One of the reasons that the GT may be confusing to some car enthusiasts is that it has a 5er Series designation, the driving position of an X5, the interior room of an extended-wheelbase 7er, and the driving dynamics of a 5er Sedan.
Indeed, the GT is built …

New Transportation Department Safety Rules to Improve Rear Visibility

New Transportation Department Safety Rules to Improve Rear Visibility

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced plans that will reduce accidents caused by blind spots behind a vehicle by requiring all passenger cars to be equipped with rear-view video cameras.
The rule, which is in the proposal stages, comes from a Congressional mandate in the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007, named after a two-year-old child who was killed when his father accidentally backed over him at the family’s …