Best Makeover of 2009

Joe Tralongo – 2010 VW GTI

Thumbnail image for Joe_Tralongo_Face.jpgVW - GTI.jpgThis car just gets better with each generation. A 2.0-liter turbo matched to a taut suspension and low-profile 18-inch tires creates the perfect balance between livable daily driver and weekend rejuvenator. Some may gripe that 200 horsepower is not enough umph, but I disagree. I’m not willing to sacrifice handling, ride comfort and a quiet interior just to have bragging rights for the biggest balls. When you can no longer justify the STI’s Impreza-grade interior, gotten over the Mazdaspeed3’s maddening torque steer and tired of trying to fit your friends into a MINI Cooper S, the GTI will be there waiting. I’ll take mine in Tornado Red.

Nick Kurczewski – Fiat 500C

Thumbnail image for Nick_Kurczewski_bio.jpg090622_F_500C_009.jpgI’m not trying to cheat by adding an adorable Europe-only city car to my “Best of” choices – okay, maybe I am. Just remember, the Fiat 500 is part of the Italian company’s North American sales strategy now that it’s in control of Chrysler. The 500 should start arriving on U.S. shores in the next 1-2 years. Having driven the 500 while living in Paris for approximately five years, I’m positive American car buyers will fall for this itsy-bitsy Fiat. The convertible version only makes it more chic and huggable. This is the only car that could out-cute a Mini Cooper.

Casey Willams – 2010 Ford Taurus

Thumbnail image for Casey_williams_headshot_biospage.jpg2010 Ford TaurusWhen the original Ford Taurus beamed down in 1986, it was a Euro-style sport sedan ready for the 21st Century. Over time, it went from cutting edge to the anchor of rental fleets and salesmen. With one re-style, Ford took that boring lump and turned it back into a better sport sedan it ever was. A futuristic interior, aero-muscular exterior, SYNC voice-activated audio/navigation, real time weather maps, available all-wheel-drive, Volvo-based chassis, top-of-class crash ratings, and 365-HP Twin-turbo V6-powered SHO version make the Taurus a mean bull to control.

Joe LaMuraglia – 2010 Toyota Prius

Thumbnail image for Joe_LaMuraglia_cigar.jpg2010 Toyota PriusMost people who know me well, know that I am not on the cheer-leading squad for hybrid vehicles. Then why am I choosing the 2010 Toyota Prius as my choice of Best Makeover? Pretty it isn’t but the latest iteration of the vehicle that brought the term hybrid mainstream is the best hybrid yet. It drives better, is more fuel efficient, features more versatility and has some of the latest technology available. Finally, with this makeover the Prius is a true replacement for the family car.

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Best Makeover


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