Home » Archive by Author

Articles by Jonathan Spira

2013 Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTec – Review and Test Drive

2013 Mercedes-Benz ML350 BlueTec – Review and Test Drive

We first looked at the M-Class diesel at its launch two years ago shortly before the third-generation M-Class went on sale in September 2011 as a 2012 model.  Even in the space of less than two years, there’s ample time to make improvements.  These include a brand new telematics system, …

Porsche’s U.S. Diesel Strategy: An Interview with Wolfgang Hatz

Porsche’s U.S. Diesel Strategy: An Interview with Wolfgang Hatz

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of interviews with executives at automakers that offer diesel-powered automobiles in the United States.
Porsche is the most recent entrant to the U.S. diesel marketplace. Not too long ago, the idea of a Porsche SUV was somewhat heretical to purists as was …

GM Officially Joins Diesel Party, Launches 2014 Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 TD

GM Officially Joins Diesel Party, Launches 2014 Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 TD

CHICAGO — General Motors officially announced it would once again offer a diesel-powered automobile.  The 2014 Chevrolet Cruze 2.0 TD will debut in select markets this summer with a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel inline four that develops 148 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.  If that’s not enough, an overboost function allows …

Cadillac, Nissan, Tesla Launch New Electric Vehicles

Cadillac, Nissan, Tesla Launch New Electric Vehicles

DETROIT—General Motors, Nissan, and Tesla all introduced new electric vehicles at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.
On Tuesday, GM, the nation’s largest automaker, unveiled the Cadillac ELR, a luxury version of the Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid, and said it would be offered for sale later this year.
Nissan, in turn, …

Chrysler Becomes First U.S. Automaker to Reenter Diesel Market

Chrysler Becomes First U.S. Automaker to Reenter Diesel Market

DETROIT—At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Chrysler became the first U.S. automaker to reenter the growing diesel passenger car market, a field that has in recent years been dominated by German car companies.
The redesigned 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee was unveiled at the show with a new 3.0-liter …

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid – First Look and Review

2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid – First Look and Review

The current Volkswagen Jetta first made its appearance a little over two years ago with diesel and petrol variants.  Designed for the American buyer, who might consider a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla, the Jetta has been very competitive in its market segment.
Volkswagen is the leader in the diesel passenger …

2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec Diesel 12-Month Review and Report

2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec Diesel 12-Month Review and Report

It’s uncanny how our long-term cars seem to hit 10,000 km (6214 miles) at the one-year anniversary mark.  Indeed, such was the case with our 2011 Palladium Silver Mercedes-Benz E350 BlueTec sedan.
Over the past year, since taking delivery at the Mercedes-Benz Kundencenter in Sindelfingen, Germany (Sindelfingen is a town near …

Report from Paris: The Mondial de l’Automobile 2012

Report from Paris: The Mondial de l’Automobile 2012

The Paris Motor Show, or Mondial de l’Automobile, was the world’s first auto show and remains one of the most important shows in the industry.  Many manufacturers use the Paris show to debut their wildest concept cars and latest production models. 2012 has brought no changes to this tradition, and …

Volkswagen’s U.S. Diesel Strategy: An Interview with Doug Skorupski

Volkswagen’s U.S. Diesel Strategy: An Interview with Doug Skorupski

Editor’s note: this is the second in a series of interviews with executives at automakers that offer diesel-powered automobiles in the United States.
Volkswagen has offered diesel-powered vehicles in the U.S. for decades and in the last few years it has offered TDI engines in more models than ever before. Now …

First Look: 2012 Audi A8 TDI – Review and Report

First Look: 2012 Audi A8 TDI – Review and Report

There are some associations you can’t shake.  For me, one of them is the decision by then German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to dispense with tradition and choose an Audi A8 for his official car (until that point, a Mercedes-Benz sedan had always served in this capacity).  As a result, even …

The Complete Guide to Factory and European Delivery for Diesels

The Complete Guide to Factory and European Delivery for Diesels

European Delivery, also known as Factory Delivery is the only way I know of buying a new car.  Indeed, I have found memories of accompanying my parents to the local Mercedes-Benz dealer to discuss ordering a vehicle when I was just ten years old.  Unlike the way my friends’ parents …

First Look: 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel – Review and Report

First Look: 2013 Porsche Cayenne Diesel – Review and Report

Coming to America this September
While the idea of a Porsche SUV was somewhat controversial in 2002 when the Porsche Cayenne was introduced, it was met with great success and turned out to be a true high-performance SUV, with excellent handling and powerful engines including a V-8 and a turbo-charged V-8.   …