Reasonable RideLust

2011 Chevy Cruze LTZ: RideLust Recap

Posted in Car Buying, Chevrolet, Domestic Review, Promoted, Reasonable RideLust by Kurt Ernst | June 7th, 2011 | 2 Responses |

2011 Chevy Cruze LTZ

Thumbs Up: A domestic sedan that beats the imports in style & quality

Thumbs Down: Engine lacks low end and top end power

Buy This Car If: You want a sound value in a domestic, compact sedan

It’s no secret that both Mike and I are fans of the 2011 Chevy Cruze. In my detailed review, I called it “the first entry-level sedan from Chevrolet that’s ready, willing and (more than) able to beat the Japanese at their own game.” We named the Cruze to our “Top 20 Cars of 2010” list, and Mike called it “an American small car that just rewrote the rules on what an American small car should be.” It goes without saying that we’d both recommend it to buyers, and based on the latest sales result the public agrees with our reviews. Read More…

Kia’s New Sportage Cures Compact Crossover Boredom

Posted in Import Rides, Kia, Reasonable RideLust by Kurt Ernst | March 7th, 2011 | 4 Responses |
2011 Kia Sportage EX

The 2011 Kia Sportage SX Turbo. Image: Kia Motors

Kia Motors, like their parent company Hyundai, seems to be doing everything right these days. Take their Optima sedan for example, which has gone from a boring, disposable econobox to an object of desire (especially when fitted with their 274 horsepower turbo motor) with edgy, contemporary styling. It looks like their engineers and designers have been let loose on the Sportage as well, since Kia is now rolling out a completely new Sportage compact crossover for 2011. Why should you care? Because they’re building an SX Turbo variant with the same 2.0 liter turbo motor, and it’s available in either front wheel drive or all wheel drive. If you want a fun ride, but need a compact crossover to accommodate your family or just your stuff, you’ve now got another legitimate contender to add to your shopping list. Read More…

2011 Honda CR-Z First Impressions

Posted in Car Buying, Commuter Cars, EcoLust, Fuel-efficient, General, Honda, Hybrid, Import Review, New Cars, Reasonable RideLust, RideLust Review by Kurt Ernst | August 20th, 2010 | 4 Responses |
2011 Honda CR-Z EX

The 2011 Honda CR-Z EX

Brussel sprouts. Small, yappy dogs that couldn’t hold their own against a squirrel. The Dallas Cowboys. Hybrid cars. I have no issues if you like any of the above, but they’re simply not for me. I’ve never eaten a brussel sprout that didn’t make me gag, I’ve never met a small dog that I’ve liked, I can’t stand the Cowboys and I’ve never driven a hybrid that was tolerable, let alone enjoyable.

Until now, that is. If you think you hate hybrids, go test drive a CR-Z when they hit dealer showrooms at the end of this month. If you’re like me, I think you’ll be more than a little bit surprised, especially if you drive the six speed manual CR-Z.

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Ebay Find Of The Week: 1988 BMW M5 With Under 60k Miles

Posted in BMW, Classic, Collector Cars, Favorite Cars, General, Reasonable RideLust by Kurt Ernst | August 13th, 2010 | 1 Response |

1988 BMW M5

Hats off to Two Seats Or Less for finding this immaculate E28 BMW M5 for sale in southern California. It’s a no reserve eBay auction, and bidding is currently less than $13k. The current owner looks to be fanatical about maintenance, and he’s disclosed a little bit of rust at the wheel wells and rear bumper. As with anything on the internet, buyer beware; still, if this car is as good as it looks, someone may be getting the buy of a lifetime on a car that will still look good 20 years from now.

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The Ten Cheapest New Cars You Can Buy Today, August 2010 Edition

Posted in Car Buying, Car Deals, Cars, Chevrolet, Commuter Cars, Ford, Fuel-efficient, General, Hyundai, Kia, New Cars, Nissan, Reasonable RideLust, Suzuki, Toyota by Kurt Ernst | August 11th, 2010 | 6 Responses |

Sorry, you can't buy a Tata Nano here yet...

Just the other day we gave you some tips on buying a $1,000 beater car from Craigslist. Let’s say your financial circumstances are a little better, and you actually want to buy something new, with a warranty. Fun really isn’t in your price range; instead, you’re looking for practical and affordable. I’ve got good news for you, Mr. Bargain Hunter: you can still buy a new car for under $15,000, and in some cases quite a bit under $15k. If you’ve got good credit and put some money down, you can be rolling in low budget style for less than the cost of breakfast and lunch out every day.

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Eleven Tips For Buying A $1,000 Beater On Craigslist

Posted in Beater Cars, Car Buying, Cars, General, How To, Reasonable RideLust, Tips, Used Cars by Kurt Ernst | August 10th, 2010 | 38 Responses |

Times are tough, and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be any major economic recovery in the near future. A lot of people, myself included, have cut way back on spending just to make ends meet. Still, you can only cut back so far: ours is a culture based around the automobile, and you need a reliable set of wheels to get to and from work, the grocery store, your therapist, etc.

I paid $700 for my first car, but that was over 25 years ago. Is it still possible, I wondered, to score a car for under $1,000 if you shopped carefully on Craigslist? Searching the listings for Jacksonville, FL, I can safely say the answer is yes, as long as you’re not particularly concerned with what you’ll be driving. If you want to get from point A to point B for under $1,000, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

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1975 MG BGT: Hemmings Find Of The Week

Posted in car modifications, Cars, Classic, Corner Carvers, General, MG, Reasonable RideLust, Used Cars by Kurt Ernst | August 3rd, 2010 | 2 Responses |
1975 MG BGT

Hey, those exhausts aren't stock! Photo: Hemmings Motor News

At first glance, this looks like just another recently restored MG BGT, wearing mid-70s U.S. spec rubber bumpers and a set of Minilite wheels. The car seems to be lowered a bit, and it’s not until you take in the rear 3/4 view that your mind starts screaming, “Danger, Will Robinson. Danger!” Are those dual exhausts poking out from under the GT’s rear bumper? Why would anyone in their right mind do a dual exhaust conversion on a car that left the factory with a smog-equipment-choked, 1.8 liter inline four that made about 94 horsepower in U.S trim? And that’s when it hits you: there’s more to this car than meets the eye.

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Smyth Performance Turns Your Jetta TDI Into A Rear Engined Hoonmobile

Posted in car modifications, Cars, Cool Stuff, EcoLust, General, Reasonable RideLust by Kurt Ernst | August 1st, 2010 | Leave a Reply |

The Smyth Performance G3F

When it comes to kit cars, very few of them make me sit up and take notice. Most take a humble commuter car (like the original VW Beetle or Mustang II) and turn it into some ugly, undriveable. fiberglass cocoon that lacks any kind of proper ventilation, handling or driving amusement. Beck Engineering is one exception to this rule, as is Factory Five Racing. When companies like this build a kit car, they take the time to do it right, and the finished product is a legitimate sports car.

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BMW vs. BMW vs. BMW: One great comparison test.

Posted in BMW, Car Reviews, European Review, General, Reasonable RideLust, Videos by MrAngry | June 10th, 2010 | 3 Responses |

Now these are comparisons that I like to see. The BMW 3-Series has been the sports sedan poster child for the last twenty years. It has won just about every major comparison test it’s been in and at the end of the day, is the car that the other manufacturers are left chasing. We’ve got a 2008 335xi in the family and I have to say that aside from being a bit small, it’s one hell of an automobile. Edmunds’ Inside Line just posted a wonderful video comparing three BMW’s against each others and the results that they came up with may in fact surprise you. They took a 2002 BMW M3, a 2008 135i and a 2008 335i and pitted them against each other in a full barrage of tests to determine who the winner was. Obviously the two 2008 models are newer, but can they still best the older, outdated M3 of the past… click play and find out.

2009 Aprilia Shiver: RideLust Review

Posted in European Review, General, Motorcycle, Reasonable RideLust, RideLust Review by Kurt Ernst | May 12th, 2010 | 1 Response |
2009 Aprilia Shiver 750

Aprilia Shiver 750, shown with optional equipment

Introduced to the U.S. for the 2008 model year, the Aprilia Shiver may be the best naked v -twin bike with sporting intentions that you’ve never heard of. Equipped with an Aprilia designed, liquid cooled 750cc motor that puts out a claimed 94 horsepower, the bike also uses a throttle-by-wire system with three ECU map settings: Sport, Touring and Rain. Sport should be called “Hoon”, because it makes power delivery like flipping a light switch; crack the throttle even slightly, and the bike pushes you back in the seat as the front wheel tries to defy gravity. Touring is perhaps the best all-around mode, as it makes power delivery more linear. If you commute in stop and go traffic, this is how you’ll want to run the bike. Rain mode, which I didn’t test, reduces horsepower by about 22% and torque by about 26%. This would make a big difference in slick conditions, especially for new or returning riders.

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