2017 MINI Cooper S Countryman All4

 

George Gray was in the studio (on the right) to look over the Mini Cooper with me at Pirate Radio 104.7FM.  See what we thought:

Island blue paint – Heated chesterfield brown leather buckets – 5 passenger seating – 8” touchscreen – Weighs 3,629 lbs. – Premium stereo – 2.0 liter four – 189 horsepower / torque is 207 lb. ft. – Panoramic moonroof – LED headlights and cornering lighting – Eight speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive – Backup camera and navigation – $38,430.00 Window Sticker – 31 MPG on the highway – 26 MPG combined rating – 22 MPG city.  16.1 gallon tank – Made in Born, Netherlands

2017 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Limited FWD Sedan

The Toyota Avalon was driven to Pirate Radio for an analysis by DJ’s George Gray and Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello during the Morning Show.  Listen in:

Parisian Night Pearl blue metallic paint with black interior  – 5 passenger – 195” long like a Chevy Impala or Ford Taurus – Power black heated and air conditioned leather bucket seats and heated second row seating – 8” Touchscreen with navigation – XM radio and  premium 11 speaker JBL “cabin surround” stereo – Pushbutton start and power rear window shade – 2.5 liter four with 200 system (gas and electric) horsepower – CVT Automatic transmission –  3 driving modes – Backup camera, lane departure warning, heated steering wheel, radar cruise control, and blind spot monitor – 17”  aluminum alloy wheels – $43,639.00  list price – 40 MPG combined mileage, 40 city, and 39 highway – Built in Georgetown, Kentucky

2017 Volkswagen Golf GTI “S” Hatchback

The GTI was driven to Pirate Radio for an analysis by Matt “Big Kahuna” Arguello and George “Elvis” Gray.  Listen in:

Front Wheel Drive – Tornado Red paint/Titan black and Clark plaid interior – 5 passenger – 168” long like a Beetle or Chevy Sonic – Heated front bucket seats – 5  Star NHTSA Safety rating – weighs 3,031 lbs. – XM radio and  premium 8 speaker stereo  – 6.5” Touchscreen with backup camera – 2.0 liter turbo four with 210 horsepower, torque is 258 lbs. ft. – 6  Speed Tiptronic Automatic transmission –  3 driving modes – Paddle shifters – 18”  aluminum alloy wheels and 225/40R18 summer radials – $27,515.00  list price – 27 MPG combined mileage, 24 in city and 32 on highway – 13.2 gallon tank – Built in Puebla, Mexico

2017 Toyota Tacoma TRD/Pro 4×4 Double Cab Pickup

The Pirate Radio Morning Show Crew (George Gray and Matt Arguello) took a look at the Tacoma over at KELS FM104.7 Studios.  Listen in:

 

 

Cement gray paint – 5’ bed – Heated black leather buckets – 5 passenger seating – 7” touchscreen – Weighs 4,445 lbs. and has 9.4” ground clearance – 212” long – Entune premium stereo – 3 .5 liter V-6— 278 horsepower / torque is 265 lb. ft. – Six speed automatic transmission – Four wheel drive with locking differential – Backup camera and navigation – $45,087.00 Window Sticker – 23 MPG on the highway – 20 MPG combined rating – 18 MPG city.  21.1 gallon tank – Made in San Antonio, Texas   

2017 KIA Soul! 5 Passenger FWD Hatchback

The KIA Soul! was taken to Pirate Radio (104.7 FM) for analysis during the Morning Show with George Gray and Matt “The Big Kahuna” Arguello.  Listen in:

Titanium Gray metallic – Black interior – Leather and cloth heated/power front buckets – heated steering wheel and heated rear outboard seats – 8” touchscreen, backup camera/navigation – Huge power moonroof  and premium Harman/Kardon sound system w/ 9 lighted speakers – 201 horsepower 1.6 liter turbo four / 195 lb. ft. torque – 7 Speed dual clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive – Lane departure and blind spot warning plus radar cruise –  $27,620.00

EPA rating is 26 MPG city , 28 MPG combined rating and 31 MPG highway – (14.2 gallon tank) – 3,232 lbs., 163” long, 101” wheelbase, 63.5” height, 71” width

 Built in Gwamgju, South Korea

2017 Nissan Murano Platinum AWD

The DJ’s at Pirate Radio (104.7 FM) took a look at the Nissan Murano during the Morning Show:

Arctic blue metallic paint – Heated cashmere leather buckets – 5 passenger seating – 8” touchscreen w/navigation – Weighs 3,900 lbs. – Bose premium 10 speaker stereo with subwoofer and 552 watt amplifier – V-6 with 3.5 liter – 260 horsepower / torque is 240 lb. ft. – Continuously variable automatic transmission – All wheel drive and power tailgate – Backup camera and intelligent cruise control – $44,165.00 Window Sticker – 28 MPG on the highway – 24 MPG combined rating – 21 MPG city.  19 gallon tank – Made in Canton, Mississippi

2017 BMW X1 AWD 28i Crossover

Stu’s Reviews @ Pirate Radio 104.7FM.  Matt Arguello and Myself.  Listen in:

Chestnut bronze metallic paint – Heated Canberra (beige) leather buckets – 5 passenger seating – 6.5” touchscreen w/navigation – Weighs 3,600 lbs. – Harman/Kardon premium stereo – 2 liter twin turbo four – 228 horsepower – torque is 258 lb. ft. – 8 Speed automatic transmission – All wheel drive – Backup camera  $46,320.00 Window Sticker – 31 MPG on the highway – 25 MPG combined rating – 22 MPG city – 16.1 gallon tank – Made in Regensburg, Germany

2017 Fiat 124 Spider Roadster

THEN

As a little boy, my brothers and I (yes, the Wright brothers) got tiny plastic cars for Christmas one year with the make of car embossed over the back window.  They were about the size of a spool of thread, and we thought one of them was a “FLAT”.  The word Fiat, stamped on the toy, was foreign to us little guys and besides, no such cars were to be seen near Fullerton, Nebraska.  We learned much later that we had been playing with a Fiat 500 replica.

Italian automaker Fiat built automobiles in New York prior to World War II, and at the start of the conflict production in this country ceased.  They re-appeared in the U.S. in the 1950’s and sourced the backronym “Fix It Again, Tony” as a reference to rust and reliability problems.  In fact, I bought a 1968 Fiat roadster that was riddled with rust and after a trip to the bodyshop, drove it for several years during my Air Force assignment in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

I enjoyed the little red Fiat and had a dream of trading for the bigger 124 Spider, but marriage terminated my sports car ownership days and I replaced the Fiat with a Datsun sedan.

NOW

I was thrilled in 2014 when I heard that Fiat was going to resurrect the venerable 124 Spider, and as it turned out they built it on Mazda’s MX-5 Miata platform in a joint venture project.  A 2017 model was loaned to me for a week recently and I was able to give it a rather thorough analysis.

It had an M.S.R.P. of $27,285.00, and that price included a technology package with a 7″ display, XM radio, backup camera, and proximity keyless entry.  Drivetrain is a 1.4 liter, 160 horsepower turbo-4 and transmission is a pleasing 6-speed manual.  The vehicle is rear-wheel drive, handles like a dream and the top is a snap to put up and down (manually).  This 124 is a big step forward for Fiat Chrysler.