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Author Steve Siler

  • Steve Siler

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60-Second Car Reviews: 2014 Porsche Boxster

Everyone I know loves the yummy Porsche Cayman. And nearly everyone I know loves convertibles, especially in our sun-drenched locales. So it’s confounding to me that people do not love the Cayman roadster. It’s probably because—and only because—it’s called the Boxster, which was once regarded as the poor man’s Carrera. And no one—especially we image-conscious gays—want to be seen in a poor man’s anything.

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60-Second Car Review: 2014 Chevrolet SS, What Tom of Finland Would Drive

If you like muscles, and you like cars, well, we’re gonna get along great. And we’d both probably agree that the big brute Chevrolet SS sport sedan is a decadent delight. 

It’s Chevy’s flagship car, with rear-wheel drive, polished wheels, fat tires and a big stonkin’ V-8 with a delicious exhaust rumble that hearkens back to the olden days of American car glory.
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60-Second Car Review: 2015 Chrysler 200

I’m a sucker for a pretty face. And with its clean grille and Audi A5-like LED running lights, the all-new 2015 Chrysler 200’s face definitely qualifies as a pretty.

The 200 has a good body and great ass, too, if I may go there. But it’s more than beautiful on the outside; it’s spacious and stylish on the inside, too, especially in high-zoot “200C” form, which contains top-stitched leather and artfully bent wood veneers evocative of the famous lounge chair designed by Charles Eames in the 1940s.

Among my favorite features are a gorgeous floating instrument cluster with backlighting—I’m all about good lighting—a clever center console with sliding cupholders, and the availability of 3G wifi connectivity.

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The Coupe Scoop: Less Practical, More Personal, Always Desirable

In an age when cars are expected to hold more people, carry more things, be smarter, go faster and do it all while sipping less fuel, the good old-fashioned two-door remains an innately self-indulgent and decidedly personal form of transportation. With sleek, low-slung bodies and fewer unsightly cutlines than staid sedans, coupes are also prettier, more expensive and less accommodating in back—limitations that somehow make them that much more desirable.

Coupes have become an endangered species of late, though, with many folks—including us gays—finding our way into four-doors or crossing into crossovers. 

I’m happy to see that two-doors are making a bit of a comeback, with about a half-dozen new models being introduced this year. Here are three of our favorites for your perusal.

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60-Second Car Review: 2014 BMW 328d xDrive Sports Wagon

Gays love BMWs, and I’m gay. And as a bit of a contrarian, I also love wagons. So to me, there are few things better than a BMW wagon like the Melbourne Red metallic 328d I tested this week.

OK, so I entered this test a bit biased, but seriously, why anyone would get a $50K SUV when this sexy machine is available is beyond me. First, from a practicality standpoint, few luxury vehicles can touch it, with incredible cargo flexibility, its 40/20/40 split-back seats, extra under-floor storage, flexible floor divider with retractable band, hooks, anchors, a power point, even a dog net. The interior is otherwise identical to the 3-Series sedan, only better lit—thank you, panoramic sunroof.

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60-Second Car Review: 2014 Acura MDX

What’s the difference between car design and plastic surgery? When you redo a car, you want people to notice, but when you 'get work done,' you don’t. Acura seems to have taken the Brentwood housewife approach when redesigning its third-generation MDX, because it looks more or less just like the last one, albeit with softer contours and a row of LED headlamps. Alas, it is new, and in pretty much every way, it’s better than before.

The interior, for example, is gorgeous. The front seats are delightfully comfortable, materials are excellent, and the sound system is spectacular and reads every conceivable kind of media (except for your old Debbie Gibson cassettes—sorry). Storage is everywhere, the back seat is huge and it even has an easy-access third-row seat when it’s your turn to be the designated driver on Sunday Funday. The standard V-6 is quiet and fuel-efficient, yet can kick up its skirts when you find out there’s a fire sale at the Andrew Christian store. Even better, next to certain highly respected SUVs like the BMW X5 and Audi Q7, it is far less expensive. In other words, it’s got enough of the stuff you want, and not too much of anything else, letting you save your money for the undies.

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2015 Ford Fusion Energi

I’m asked all the time about hybrids, and, frankly, I find them hard to love (especially the Prius). Plug-ins, on the other hand, including the Chevy Volt and this car, the Ford Fusion Energi, actually work for me. Why? Because you can drive them around as electric cars for most of the day (up to 24 miles in the case of the Fusion Energi), and when the juice runs out, you continue on your merry way sipping gas. Plug-ins are the best of both worlds.
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Drive This, Not That: 2014 Mini Cooper S vs. 2014 Ford Fiesta ST

Winner: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST

This is weird, and frankly, unexpected. Who’d have thunk that a Ford Fiesta would be able to out-fun the Mini Cooper S, a perennial favorite among budget thrill-seekers? Well, first of all, the Fiesta ST is no ordinary Fiesta but rather a bargain screamer, with a thrilling turbocharged engine, racy five-door body, slot-car handling and gorgeous steering. Its bumpy ride and notchy six-speed manual are perfectly in character with its playful purpose, and like a Mazda Miata and the Jeep Wrangler—two longstanding gay faves—it doesn’t take itself too seriously.
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60-Second Car Review: Mitsubishi Outlander GT

2014 Mitsubishi Outlander GT — Ehhhh, Not So Much

Yes, Mitsubishi still builds cars. Haven’t noticed? Perhaps that’s because, aside from the mighty EVO, Mitsu’s products have been rather unremarkable in recent years. But alas, the massive Japan-based automobile and electronics manufacturer is still making cars, and the redesigned Outlander GT crossover is the freshest of the lot. So while I’m not so fond of its Marty-the-Martian face or its porky body, I decided to give it a chance to win me over with its spacious cabin, bevy of new safety and convenience features and supposed quality improvements.

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Drive This, Not That: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado vs. 2014 Ford F-150

Winner: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado

Full-size pickups used to be synonymous with cowboys, road crews, and—fine, I’ll go there—lesbians. But nowadays, big trucks aren’t just for the sturdy set. They're suitable for a variety of lifestyles that occasionally involve towing or carrying stuff but don’t necessarily revolve around said activities.

What hasn’t changed in the last, say, 50 years or so is the rivalry between Ford and Chevrolet for full-size truck supremacy. And this year, Chevy’s redesigned Silverado, which was recently crowned North American Truck of the Year, is far and away the better truck compared to the ubiquitous F-150. With modern amenities like app-based infotainment, a padded dash top, Mercedes-like craftsmanship, available heated and cooled seats, lane departure warning and other great stuff, the Silverado is as comfortable as an everyday vehicle—even a luxury vehicle—as it is a work truck. Handling is decent for something this rugged and capable, and the cabin is library quiet at speed. Gotta be careful, though, as prices can creep up in to the $40K—$50K range (or even higher) without much problem.

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