*I recently drove the 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium, the Nissan Infiniti 2013 FX50 AWD and the GMC Terrain Denali AWD.

All three had very different personalities and steady rides.  Check it out!!!

jetta (white)THE CAR: 2013 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SEL Premium

This is the new member of the Jetta family. It’s the only Turbo charged vehicle in the market right now. This is the top of the line.

Go ahead, plan a long trip. More than likely you won’t run out of fuel. That’s because this vehicle gets 42 city/48 hwy. The hybrid system generates 170-hp and 184 lb –ft. of torque.  The ride is smooth and the maneuverability is easy.   The grill is exclusive to the hybrid. The interior is comfortable and upscale.

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: 1.4L Hybrid TSI engine and electric motor combined output 170 horsepower, [email protected],000 rpm, E-mode to increase batter-only driving and coasting, keyless, push button ignition, 7-speed auto shift man w/OD, Front-wheel drive, anti-lock braking system, LED taillights, sunroof, Sirius/XM satellite, driver and front passenger airbag supplemental restraint system, electronic differentia lock, full power driver seat, 17-inch alloy wheels. E-mode button gets the maximum distance (if you drive regularly) out of all electric power – which can increase fuel mileage.

MSRP: $32,010
THE DRIVE: Impressive!

infinity (black)THE CAR: Infiniti 2013 FX50 AWD

You want a sports SUV? You want to look good while driving the sports SUV?  You’ve come to the right place.

All I can say is, ‘wow.’  What is not to like about this SUV that drives like a sports sedan? Everything about it screams luxury and high performance. The car, which has more than adequate power, was so well manufactured and has such style and personality that it’s virtually unchanged from last year’s model. The FX50 has leather clad 8-way power adjustable, heated and cooled front seats with driver memory, moonroof and dual-zone automatic climate control.  When you drive the SUV, you’re already telling the world you have class.  Heads turn as glide on down the road. This SUV is a winner!

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: 5.0L V-8, [email protected],500, 7-speed auto w/OD, 0-60 in 5.8 seconds, 369 lb-ft torque, Infiniti intelligent All-Wheel Drive with Snow Mode, 21-inchm, 6-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels with 265/45R21 all-season tires, drivetrain: all wheel, cargo – 62.0 cu. ft., safety is covered with traction control, stability control, anti-lock brakes, and an assortment of air-bags that include curtain style air-bags for both rows of seats.  There isn’t much legroom in the backseat.

MSRP: $67,850
THE DRIVE:  Smooth


The Terrain Denali AWD is one of those vehicles that makes you want to get in the car and drive even when you have no place to go!

The ride is smooth and the look is luxurious. With its Denali-signature chrome grille, body-color fascias, unique headlamps/tail lamps and unique 19-inch-wheels, it’s a good-looking, compact SUV. In the interior, the gauges are large and easy to see and reach. The control panel, which is button heavy, is easy to use and operate. This is a good quality, steady highway cruiser.

VEHICLE AT A GLANCE: engine, 2.4L DOHC 4 cyl with WT, transmission, 6-speed automatic, compact spare tire, all wheel drive chassis, Bluetooth for phone, dual flow dampers, side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision alert and lane departure warning, anti-lock brake system, remote keyless entry, daytime running lamps, glass, deep tinted, power sunroof, rear parking assist and remote vehicle start, 272 lb.-ft torque, 301 hp.

MSRP: $36, 675
THE DRIVE:  Holla!

Darlene Donloe is a seasoned entertainment and travel journalist whose work has appeared in People, Ebony, Essence, LA Watts Times, Los Angeles Sentinel, EMMY, The Hollywood Reporter, Rhythm & Business, Billboard, Grammy, CYH, BlackVoices.com and more. Contact her via: [email protected].

darlene donloe

Darlene Donloe