2012 Chevrolet Captiva- Forbidden Lust

DSCI1313It’s been said that money can’t buy happiness…. or love.  And it certainly can’t buy you a new Chevrolet Captiva.  This otherwise unassuming compact SUV is probably the strangest anomaly in the US auto industry.  It’s designed for the American market and imported here, but even if your last name is Trump, you can’t buy one.  Look on the Chevy website and there won’t be a mention of it.  It’s not promoted at any American auto shows.  The Captiva is sold solely to rental fleets and not to the public- the only new vehicle out there that can make this bizarre claim.  So what gives?  Why would Chevy go to all the trouble to build a car that no one can purchase?  The answer to that question is complicated and has the makings of a telenovela- involving new relationships, breakups, and even a death.

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2013 Hyundai Sonata- The Underdog Strikes Back

DSCI0138Maybe it’s a personal preference, but I’ve always had an affinity for the underdog.  You know, the guy that has all the odds against them- who will more than likely walk away in shame and defeat.  I cheered when the New York Giants won the Super Bowl in 2004.  Was overjoyed when the little engine that could…. really could.  And cried when Urkel went to the prom with the love of his life, Laura Winslow.  Okay, maybe I didn’t react to any of those events (would I really confess to it if I did?), but I’ll admit to always having a soft spot for Hyundai.  The spunky Korean automaker that arrived on US shores in 1986 with affordable and cheery little cars that were cheap as chips but later garnered a reputation of bad quality.  The perceived quality was so bad that Hyundai almost fled out of the US market.  Unlike other automakers in similar situations, such as Alfa Romeo, Yugo, and Fiat, Hyundai tenaciously clung on and offered improved products and generous warranties to qualm any reliability fears.

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2012 Mitsubishi Galant- Let’s Pop Some Tags

DSCI0101It’s possibly a sign of the times, but the #1 hit across the Billboard charts at this very moment is Macklemore’s R&B/hip-hop song “Thrift Shop.”  For those of you unfamiliar with this phenomenon, it’s a paean to all things inexpensive and quirky that can only be found by pure luck at a second-hand store.  Typically, most rap songs are boastful about conspicuous consumption; mansions, Escalades, Bentley’s and large yachts, but “Thrift Shop” goes to the beat of a different drummer and glorifies the unique styles that can be had for cheap and mocks overpriced name brands and fads.  It doesn’t hurt that it’s also a catchy tune and I continually found myself singing it while driving the Mitsubishi Galant.  Not only because it was played on every pop station while cruising around, but ironically it also describes this car’s place in the world.  It may not be for buyers looking for the latest or trendiest, but for anyone who is looking for an absolute deal, it could prove to be a gold mine.

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