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Today was the "ride and drive" portion of the Western Automotive Journalists' Media Days, a day to drive a wide variety of cars on public roads. You can see pictures of the vehicles I drove if you click on "Bruce Hotchkiss' Photos" on the right. The vehicles in the order I drove them are the Kia Soul, Nissan Cube, 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8, Subaru WRX STi, Aston Martin DB9 Volante, Audi A8, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Suzuki SX4 Sport Hatch, 2010 Mustang GT500, Dodge Ram Laramie 1500 CC, BMW X5 xDrive 35d Clean Diesel, Dodge Challenger SRT8, Chevrolet Camaro RS, 2010 Honda Insight EX.
Someone asked me which cars stood out. I said it would be easier to list those that didn't - none. There wasn't a clunker in the mix. If I had to pick two favorites they would be the Mustang GT500 and the Kia Soul. The Mustang was a stand out in its last iteration. Ford added 40 hp to bring it up to 540 hp, and tweaked the suspension for better handling and grip. The Soul breaks the stereotype you might have about Korean cars - it's hip, well put together, handles well, and it's just edgy enough looking to attract the kids without turning off me, an old guy.
I'll try to write more, and there will be more pictures, after tomorrow, the day we attack Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.