John A. Heilig Jr.

Automotive Expert

John has been an automotive journalist and historian for more than 20 years. Since 1982 he has written "The Auto Page," a self-syndicated weekly new automotive review column that appears in a dozen papers and two Internet sites. Mr. Heilig has recently begun a car care column that is to be distributed to papers nationally through the Associated Press.

Articles by John A. Heilig Jr.

Reviews

2003 Hummer H2 Road Test

Well, the General does know what he's doing. General Motors saw an icon in the making and bought the Hummer name from American General. The idea was to create and...Read more

Reviews

2006 Ford Mustang GT Convertible Road Test

To all the people in the northeast, I apologize. The rain and subsequent flooding that hit in early October was my fault. You see, I scheduled the Ford Mustang GT...Read more

Reviews

2002 Mazda MPV Road Test

Mazda has added power and better handling to its popular MPV minivan, but it may be what is not added that makes the vehicle so appealing. You see, Mazda has...Read more

Reviews

2006 Mercedes Benz ML350 Road Test

When Mercedes-Benz first introduced the original ML320 as a 1998 model, the big buzz was that it was the first Mercedes to be built in the United States in more...Read more

Reviews

2005 Mercedes Benz SLK350 Road Test

The Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class cars have always taken a back seat to the bigger, more powerful SL-Class cars. The SL cars, of course, are derived from the legendary 300SL introduced 50...Read more

Reviews

2004 Nissan Titan Road Test

A lot of times manufacturers tend to get carried away in the naming of their vehicles. "Super Cab" and "Power" this and that sometimes are misnomers for a slightly larger...Read more

Reviews

2001 Cadillac Catera Sport Road Test

Photos by Charles Ofria    Category:  $30,000 to $40,000 Rear Drive Sport Sedan  Who should buy this car:  A person looking for a comfortable driver's car with crisp handling and...Read more

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2005 Buick Terraza Road Test

Buick calls the Terraza a sport utility in its advertisements. It's even called a "special purpose" vehicle on the window (price) sticker. But in reality, it's a minivan. It shares...Read more

Reviews

Acura MDX Road Test

And another one joins the fray. Acura has introduced the MDX, a luxury sport utility vehicle that has been designed from the ground up by Acura to be class-leading in...Read more

Reviews

2004 BMW X3 Road Test

Category:$30,000 to $40,000 Mid-sized SUVWho should buy this car:A person looking for an SUV with great on-road handling without giving up off-road abilityComparable models in this class:Acura MDX, Buick Rainier,...Read more

Reviews

2003 Cadillac CTS Road Test

Category: $30,000 to $40,000 Rear Drive Sport Sedan Who should buy this car: A person looking for a comfortable driver's car with crisp handling, new-age looks and room for 5...Read more

Reviews

2003 BMW X5 Road Test

When BMW announced that it was getting into the sport utility market, everyone wondered just what that vehicle would be like. The original 4.4-liter V8-powered X5 did not disappoint. It...Read more

Reviews

2006 Chevrolet HHR Road Test

Category: $16,000 - $20,000 Compact Wagon Who should buy this car: Someone looking for an interesting looking small station wagon with good fuel economy. Comparable models in this class: Chrysler...Read more

Reviews

2002 Cadillac Escalade AWD

Cadillac has redesigned the Escalade sport utility for the 2002 model year. The new face of Escalade is striking. Our tester, for example, was painted in"infrared," a deep red metallic....Read more

Reviews

2004 Chevrolet SSR Road Test

Category: $40,000 to $45,000 Convertible Pickup Truck Who should buy this car: A person looking for a cross between a sports car and a pickup truck that is fun to...Read more

Reviews

2006 Dodge Dakota Road Test

Everything about Dodge trucks is large. In fact, everything coming out of the Chrysler Corporation side of Daimler Chrysler sports huge grilles that I for one don't think are attractive....Read more

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2005 Hummer H2 SUT Road Test

Category: $50,000 + Sport Utility Pickup Truck Who should buy this car: If you are looking for a vehicle that will intimidate anyone who dares venture out in front of you,...Read more

Reviews

2002 Chevrolet Avalanche Road Test

Category:$30,000 - $35,000 Large 4-Door Pickup TruckWho should buy this car:Someone looking for a cross between an SUV and a pickup truckComparable models in this class:Ford Super Crew Avalanche is...Read more

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2001 Kia Optima Road Test

Category: $15,000 to $22,000 Mid-sized Sedan Who should buy this car: A person looking for a competent mid-sized sedan at a bargain basement price Comparable models in this class: Chevrolet...Read more

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2003 Volvo XC90 Road Test

Category: $35,000 to $45,000 Compact Sports Sedan Who should buy this car: A person looking for a solid, safe and comfortable SUV with room and style Comparable cars in this...Read more

Reviews

2006 Chevrolet Impala SS Road Test

The first official Chevrolet "Super Sport" was an option package on the 1963 Chevy II Nova Sport Coupe. That year's Impala also had "SS" equipment, which was a $161 option...Read more

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2003 Kia Sorento Road Test

Category: $18,000 to $25,000 Mid-sized SUV Who should buy this car: A person looking for a competent mid-sized SUV at a bargain basement price Comparable models in this class: Ford...Read more

Reviews

2001 Toyota Rav4 Road Test

Category:$15,000 to $25,000 Compact SUVWho should buy this car:A person looking for a small SUV with sex appeal.Comparable models in this class:Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sportage,...Read more

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2005 Toyota Avalon Road Test

Category: $26,000 to $35,000 Large Front-Wheel Drive Sedan Who should buy this car: A person looking for a roomy family sedan with style, reliability and comfort Comparable models in this...Read more

Reviews

Suzuki XL-7 Road Test

Category: $20,000 - $30,000 Small Sport Utility Vehicle Who should buy this car: If you are looking for an inexpensive SUV with room for 7, this is the only game in...Read more

Reviews

Suzuki Grand Vitara Road Test

Category: $19,000 - $25,000 Compact SUV Who should buy this car: A good choice for someone on a budget who is looking for stylish, compact SUV that is roomy and...Read more

Reviews

2005 Scion xA Road Test

Category:$16,000 - $18,000 Compact Hatchback CoupeWho should buythis car:The perfect first car for a couple or single college student looking for reliable, economical transportation that is easy on the eyesComparable...Read more

Reviews

2003 Saturn Ion Road Test

Category: $12,000 to $16,000 Compact Sedan Who should buy this car: A person who is looking for an inexpensive compact family sedan that is low maintenance and reliable. Comparable cars...Read more

Reviews

Infiniti FX35 Road Test

I'm always surprised by which vehicles wind up impressing me and which do not. Quite often, I'm turned off by hot new vehicles with ultra-modern design. But just as often,...Read more

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2005 Pontiac G6 Road Test

Category: $20,000 to $26,000 Front-wheel Drive Mid-Size Sedan Who should buy this car: A person who is looking for a good looking, American nameplate family sedan that is comfortable and...Read more

Reviews

2003 Mercedes Benz CLK500 Road Test

One of the models Mercedes-Benz surprised us with at its introduction last summer was the CLK coupe. Many of the reporters in attendance had driven (and enjoyed) the CLK cabriolet,...Read more

Reviews

2002 Mercedes Benz G500 Road Test

When I think of Mercedes-Benz automobiles and SUVs, I think of sleek, aerodynamic vehicles that all have a link to the original 300SL with its super-low coefficient of drag (for...Read more

Reviews

2006 Suzuki Grand Vitara Road Test

Well, the little Suzuki Grand Vitara has grown up. And with the growing, the compact SUV finds itself in a whole new group of friends (and competitors). I have always...Read more

Reviews

Suzuki Verona Road Test

For years Suzuki has cultivated and nurtured a reputation as a builder of small, inexpensive-to-cheap cars. The small Suzuki sport utilities are good vehicles at the bottom end of the...Read more

Reviews

2001 Pontiac Aztek Road Test

Don't expect me to get all gushy about the fabulous design of the new Pontiac Aztek, its sleek lines and its aerodynamic form. It ain't gonna happen.  In my opinion...Read more

Reviews

2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor Road Test

Category:$26,000 - $35,000 Mid-Size Sport Utility VehicleWho should buy this car:People looking for a comfortable Mid-Sized SUV with value and style in this crowded market segment.Comparable models in this class:Buick Rendezvous,...Read more

Reviews

2002 Buick Rendezvous Road Test

Category: $30,000 to $35,000 Sport Utility Vehicle Who should buy this car: A family looking for a comfortable car-based SUV with room for seven Comparable models in this class: Acura...Read more

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