Sunday, we went out to Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie to check out the GM sponsored “Main Street in Motion”. The parking lot was full of all types of cars, trucks, and SUVs parked out in front of makeshift tracks using orange traffic cones. There were only a few vehicles that we were really looking forward to driving, but this was a great opportunity to test many vehicles in the same segment back-to-back. Really, that’s the point of this whole thing: to let consumers test vehicles back to back in a non-sales pressure environment.
The first thing we jumped into was the GMC Acadia Denali. I’ve wanted to drive this ever since last year when we had the Buick Enclave. Next, we went over to the Buick tent where we decided to get a little precursor of what’s to come by jumping in the Buick Regal turbo. We’ll have this car next week for our full review, but we wanted to spin it around the track and give it a quick comparison to the Acura TSX, that was our next pit stop. The TSX felt a little smoother and more planted around the track, but we can’t wait to get in the Regal turbo for a week and see what it can really do. We also jumped in the Acura TL, and besides the looks, it didn’t disappoint either.
We are moving quickly so try and keep up because next was the HD Trucks. We hopped straight into the GMC Sierra 2500 and took it around the special “work site” course. This tests the suspension and handling of these big work horses. The Sierra did a good job. I’m by no means a truck guy, much less a HD truck guy, but it was pretty good. After the initial test in the Sierra, we drove the Ram 2500 and the Tundra. I’ll have to say that the Ram had the best interior of the bunch.
There were more vehicles we could have driven on the GMC / Buick side but it was time to move on, the Volt and the Corvette Grand Sport were calling our names. So we made the hike to the Chevrolet tent where we first stood in line for the new 1.4 turbo Chevy Cruze. We’ll have one of these for a full test soon too, but it was nice to check it out here. The guys at txGarage are split on what we really think about the Cruze, but all in all, I think it’s a great step forward for Chevy. You do notice the quietness of the cabin and the look and feel of the interior is a step in the right direction. Powering this car around the bends, however, wasn’t that enthusiastic. Whether it was the turbo lag or the lag from the automatic transmission, we’re unsure of at this point. Our signature led foots occasionally got the best of us, but by the time we got power to the wheels it was time to brake for the next turn. We’ll give it a more thorough beating soon enough.
After the Cruze, we took the time to hit up the new Hyundai Elantra. I’ve been excited about jumping in this car for a while and figured, what better time. For a compact car, the looks of the new Elantra are fantastic, and the interior is laid out well. The driving dynamics are on par with compact cars, but for the price and fuel economy, this will be a hard choice to pass up.
Next up, we took a ride to the big course, the cars everyone wanted to see and drive. This week we are reviewing the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS and drove the 2010 last year, so we already knew what to expect. We had fun on our test drive anyway. We’ve also had our hands on a Corvette Grand Sport and other C6 Corvettes before, but it was an amazing contrast getting out of the Camaro and into a Vette and hitting the same turns. The Corvette just blazed through the course with ease.
After we were done drooling over the Vette and Camaro, we hit our last stop of the day. The Chevrolet Volt was a big hit out here, and rightfully so. Unlike the rest of the cars at the event, the Volt had a big track, over a mile including a public road. This gave the test drivers the opportunity to really stretch the legs of the Volt. Our first impressions where that it was quite, styled nicely, and had good handling and acceleration; everything we wanted from an electric family sedan.
Main Street in Motion is a great idea and we had a great time out there. If you see that they are coming to a town near you, try and make it so you can check out some of these great cars. When we hear about another event headed to any city in Texas, we’ll let you guys know. If you made it to this one, leave us a comment about your experience, what car you came to drive, and what car impressed you the most.