Tag - test

The 2010 Infiniti FX35 — Why? Well, why not?

Photos by Byron Hurd (for once). 

Back in January, I was presented with an opportunity I simply couldn’t pass up. Through a connection on The Car Lounge, I was put in touch with a woman selling a perfect Miata parts car in Dayton, Ohio. Ever since I picked up my 1.6, I’ve wanted to start overhauling the 212-thousand-mile-old drivetrain and suspension. This ’94 was a perfect match. A deal was struck. 

At the time, we had Honda’s Accord Crosstour for evaluation. It seemed like a no-brainer. What could possibly be a better chase car than a brand new crossover? As we got closer to go-time however, some logistical issues intervened on the seller’s end, and the whole trip was put off for a week. The result? Well, obviously, the Crosstour ended up somewhat out of its element, and the trip was rescheduled smack-dab in the middle of our evaluation period for the FX35. 

So in typical Speed:Sport:Life fashion, we ended up with Honda’s family hauler doing double-duty as a cone chaser, and Infiniti’s sport sedan on stilts being loaded up for a ~1000-mile road trip. Why not, indeed? 

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Lord Byron — Over the river and through the cones: The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour

2010 Honda Accord Crosstour EX-L AWD

by Byron Hurd. Photos courtesy of Honda.

It takes about six seconds to travel from the stop box to the “time writer” official at a NASA Mid-Atlantic autocross (or “NASA-X”). If you’re in it to win it, those six seconds are excruciating. What should really be a short time might as well be an hour-long debriefing. Six. What did I screw up that time? Five.Did that wobbler back at the offset box fall over? Four. Did I tap one in that second slalom? Three. Does Jon Felton hate Miatas? Two.

One.

But this time, I don’t give a damn. I’m not playing for keeps. Brian, this heat’s time writer, is smiling and shaking his head as he leans in to his radio. He writes it on a post-it note and reaches out toward my driver-side window as I roll up. “You are consistent.” He tells me, laughing. I know what that means before I take the slip from him.

Another 67.

That’s a healthy six seconds off what would be my normal pace for a course this size. I normally peak mid-way through my session, and if I’ve settled to a 67.49 on run four, it’s pretty much a given that I’m not going to improve much from here. So why the lack of concern? Simple. Today, I’m not driving a Mazdaspeed3 or an RX-8 or a NA Miata. I’m not even driving our Focus.

I’m driving a 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour. And let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like hanging out the ass end of a 4100lb hatchback-on-stilts.

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Lord Byron — Plus-Size Frugality: The 2010 Mazda CX-7 i Sport

2010 Mazda CX-7

Happy CX-7 is happy.

I glide to a stop at a red light. It’s Thanksgiving and I have my ladyfriend and parents in tow. This is the first time my folks have been inside our CX-7 tester and they’re still getting acquainted.

My dad pipes up from the rear seat: “So this has a V6?”

“No, 4-banger,” I reply. “165 horsepower or so, I think” (it’s actually 161).

“Ahh,” he says. “So what’ll it tow?”

“It won’t, really,” I respond. “Maybe 1,500lbs tops.”

“Oh…”

I can tell he’s mulling that over. This is a man–a computer programmer–who dailies a turbodiesel Dodge Sprinter. Yes — the big white plumber van. You could say he’s a fan of practicality.

“So what’s the point, then?” he finally asks.

I shrug and gesture around the cabin at the four comfortably-seated occupants.

“This.”

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