2016 Mazda6 Grand Touring FWD Sedan


This Mazda6 Grand Touring was taken to Pirate Radio (104.7 FM) last week and inspected by the DJs, George “Elvis” Gray, and Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello:

Deep Crystal Blue metallic paint – Parchment leather buckets/5 passenger – Navigation system – 7” touchscreen – Radar Cruise control – LED running lights – Lane keep system – XM radio and  premium Bose stereo – Pushbutton starter – Power windows and locks – 2.5 liter 4 with 184 horsepower – Front Wheel Drive – 6 Speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters – Backup camera – Blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert – $33,395.00 M.S.R.P. – 40 MPG Highway

2016 Toyota Tundra 4X4 “TRD Pro” Pickup


George Gray and myself looked over the Tundra outside the Pirate Radio studios and went inside to discuss the unit:

 The Toyota Tundra full-size pickup, available since model year 2000, is a capable replacement to the old Toyota T100, and is available with three engine choices.  They are the 4 liter V-6 and two V-8s, with the largest one putting out 381 horsepower and 401 lb. ft. of torque.  It’s what’s called the iForce 5.7 liter DOHC aluminum V-8 with (i)ntelligent variable valve timing and flex fuel capability.  It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with console-mounted shifter, and such were the drive train specifications of my test vehicle this past week.20160531_124019_HDR

The Tundra that I drove was the TRD Pro CrewMax with an M.S.R.P. of $47,118.00, including options and freight.  Base price of this model is $45,060.00, and options on it were the paint protection film, chrome tailgate inserts, bed mat, spare tire lock, performance air filter, and allow wheel locks.  It was part-time four wheel drive with electric control and trailering equipment.  The interior was black leather and seated five, a premium stereo with satellite radio was on hand, and Bluetooth connectivity was present.  20160531_194851

      The “standard” bed that comes with this CrewMax is 78.7” long, wheelbase is 145.7”, length is 228.9”, width is 79.9”, height is 75.8”, and the truck weighs 5,375 lbs.

Styling of the TRD Pro was upgraded to include black door handles,  TRD badging, ten-spoke black finish alloy wheels, and BF Goodrich Rugged Trail T/A 275/65R18 black letter tires.  All the full-size pickups from GM, Dodge, Nissan, and Ford are good-looking, as is the Tundra.

Ride, cab noise, guidance, and visibility were all great in this vehicle.  The gas tank holds 26.4 gallons, and the EPA ratings on the previously described engine was 13 city, 17 highway, and 15 overall.  I observed 15 miles per gallons during my time with the Toyota.

Toyota sold well over 100,000 Tundras last year, so it is a popular choice for shoppers.

2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL FWD Sedan


For a recent test my wife and I went to Kearney, NE, for Memorial Day and a stop at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, where relatives’ remains are located.  The cemetery was created on a 20-acre plot over 140 years ago on the grounds of Fort McPherson, near North Platte.  The Fort was finished in October of 1863, and served as an outpost to protect travelers between Fort Kearny (now Kearney, NE) and Colorado.

The Cemetery has over 10,000 interments located there, and we visited the site in a 2016 Nissan Altima 2.5 SL sedan.  It was painted Pearl white and had beige leather seating for five inside.  I photographed it at the Julesberg, CO rest stop, and got over 31 miles per gallon on the round trip to Kearney.

Power for the front-wheel-drive Altima SL is supplied by a 2.5 liter, four cylinder engine with 182 horsepower (6,000 rpm) and 180 lb. ft. of torque (4,000 rpm).  Nissan gave in to the 4-cylinder trend with this car, and my trip was pleasurable, even thoughin the past I drove the V-6 Altimas.  A continuously variable automatic transmission is mated to the four cylinder engine, and acceleration was fine.  EPA mileage figures are 27/39 mpg for city and highway (18 gallon tank), and the combined rating is 31 miles per gallon.

The white Altima SL I tested had as options a moonroof package ($800.00), carpeting floor and trunk mats ($210.00), premium pearl paint ($395.00), and technology package ($1,700.00).  Total M.S.R.P., counting the $835.00 for freight, came to $32,510.00.  With rear backup camera, moon roof, navigation system, keeping this sedan under thirty-three  grand is an accomplishment.  Of course it had key-in-your-pocket ignition, tilt/telescope, power locks and windows, cruise control, satellite radio/CD, Bluetooth, and UBS connection.  Seating, as I mentioned, was for five, and the trunk held 15.4 cubic feet of cargo.

Styling for the new Altima, introduced in July of 2012, is an improvement over prior Altimas.  It looks bigger than it actually is, which is 191.5 “ in length and 3,177 lbs. in weight.  Chrome door handles are attached to the Nissan, and dual fog lights are up front along with a bold grill.  Ride is great, and it’s quiet in the cabin (71 decibels).  Ten-spoke, two-toned 17” alloy wheels are surrounded by P215/55R17 Michelin Primacy MXV4 all season radials.

Nissan’s best seller, this Altima, should hold up well in the sales wars with Honda’s Accord and Toyota’s Camry, as it doesn’t offer a person many opportunities to complain.  I spent a long couple of days on the Interstate with it, and the driving didn’t get tiresome, the audio was great, and time flew on our trip to Nebraska.

2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD 4WD Off-Road Pickup


On May 25th, I took the Toyota Tacoma by Pirate Radio, 104.7 FM, to look it over with George Gray and Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello.  They seemed to fall in love with the brawny styling and attractive color of the TRD Off-Road pickup, and were smitten with the interior, as well.

2016 Toyota TRD Off-Road 4WD Pickup – Inferno metallic paint – Heated cloth buckets/5 passenger – Navigation system with 7” touchscreen –  Cruise control – LED running lights – Moonroof – XM radio and  premium stereo – Pushbutton start – Power windows and locks – 3.5 liter V-6 with 278 horsepower and Four Wheel Drive – 23 MPG – 6 Speed Automatic transmission – Backup camera – Blind spot monitor with rear traffic alert – 3 passenger back seat     $37,610.00


I particularly liked the grill styling and the interior of the Tacoma.  The orange (Inferno) accents inside are dynamite.  So is the stitching.  The domed hood gives the owner/driver a commanding feeling with regards to motoring in the TRD, and the package of exterior appointments got a lot of looks in Greeley.

2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman

I took the 2016 Mini Cooper S Clubman to Pirate FM radio on June 3rd for analysis by George Gray and Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello.

2016 MINI Cooper S Clubman – Melting Silver metallic paint -Pure burgundy heated leather buckets/5 passenger – Navigation system with touchscreen – Cruise control – LED running lights – Moonroof/dual – XM radio and  premium H/K stereo – Flipper button/remote start – Power windows and locks – 2.0 liter 4 with 189 horsepower and Front Wheel Drive/32 MPG – 6 Speed Getrag transmission – Backup camera – Blind spot monitor with rear park distance assist – $37,000.00 – Built in Oxford, UK

The DJs really enjoyed looking over the Mini Cooper S ClubMan. My experience driving it during the week was enjoyable, and the six speed is really crisp to operate.  The gauges are well thought-out in the Mini, and interior room is exceptional.  Many friends and relatives made remarks about the MiniCooper, and seemed to be thinking about a purchase of one.