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CalendarJanuary 21, 2016

2016 Audi S5 Review

After testing out a Tesla, Maserati, Lexus, and Audi, I decided on the Audi S5. I've now driven the S5 for a few months, so I can give the car a comprehensive review. I'll start with the design and performance, followed by an in-depth review of the car's technology. I'll finish with a few notes about dealer options, which I advise any new car buyer to read.

Design

Audi S5 Side View

The Audi S5 is one of the coolest-looking cars on the road. While tastes vary and styling is subjective, it seems everyone I talk likes the look of the S5. Somehow, the designers at Audi were able to weave multiple dichotomies into an amazing design. It is sporty, yet understated; aggressive, but not overbearing. It is rugged and beautiful at the same time.

The character of the S5 is manifested in the black optic package, which blacks out the chrome trim and adds dark titanium rims. While the S5 is a good-looking car with its stock features, the blackened trim transforms it into a supermodel. The dark accents also highlight the sexy LED daytime running lights, which in my opinion are the best designed LEDs of any car currently on the market.

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CalendarDecember 5, 2015

Tesla vs Maserati vs Lexus vs Audi

My last two cars were Acuras (a 1989 Legend and 2003 CL Type-S) and they were both great. However, over the last decade I and many others watched Acura slip into a download spiral of uninspired design and mediocre performance. As loyal as I was to the Acura brand, it was time for a change. So I test drove four different cars:

  1. Tesla Model S 70D
  2. Maserati Ghibli S Q4
  3. Lexus RC 350 F Sport
  4. Audi S5

Having no personal experience with the four car manufacturers I tested, I found myself pleasantly open-minded to each one. My requirements were simple — I wanted a car that 1) looks good, 2) feels comfortable, 3) has the latest technology, and 4) is fun to drive. Here are the results.

Appearance

Some people buy automobiles that are practical. They don't care too much about appearance as long as the vehicle "gets them from point A to point B." Others of us are a bit more picky. I've always appreciated well-designed cars and I wasn't going to settle for a mediocre design in my next car. In my opinion, each of the cars I test drove had an attractive look.

Tesla Model S

Black Telsa Model S - Side View

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CalendarNovember 26, 2015

Reason to Give Thanks

Reason to Give ThanksThough the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Some Thanksgivings we find more reasons to be thankful than others. But there is still reason to give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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CalendarOctober 22, 2015

Why I Didn't Buy A Tesla Model S

Why I Didn't Buy A Tesla Model SThis summer, I was going to buy a Tesla. After driving my trusty Acura CL Type-S for nine years, it was finally time to get a new car. I had researched the Tesla Model S for months and decided it was going to be my next car. Then I test drove it.

My expectations sank even before I got in the car. The Tesla dealership closest to my house was located in the middle of a pothole-ridden parking lot shared by a row of industrial buildings. It was surprisingly ill-suited for a car buying experience. I was a bit taken aback, but I was so excited to drive the car, the environment did not dissuade me.

Interior

The Tesla rep first gave me a tour of the inside of the Model S and showed me the basic controls on the gigantic 17-inch screen in the middle of the console. The screen quality was great, but as a web developer, I felt the interface looked surprisingly dated (especially compared to Tesla's sleek website). I was sad to find out you can't completely turn off the screen; you can only turn down the brightness really low.

As I looked around the inside of the car, I noticed it was shockingly simplistic. I appreciate simplicity, but it definitely didn't feel like a luxury car. The seats in particular were not very comfortable and I would have preferred the side bolsters to be much larger. While nearly everything in the Model S is controlled using the screen, I was pleased to learn it still had a few standard buttons and levers around the steering wheel.

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CalendarOctober 3, 2015

Panasonic ES-LF51 Electric Shaver Review

After seven years of shaving with the Panasonic ES8228, it was time for a new shaver. I decided on the Panasonic ES-LF51-A Arc4.

Panasonic ES-LF51 Electric Shaver

Before getting into the review, it's important to state my previous ES8228 shaver came with an automatic cleaning system. This is a euphemism for an "automatic way for companies to generate extra revenue" since the cleaning system requires you to buy overpriced cleaning cartridges on a regular basis. It also takes an hour of noisy operation to complete the cleaning process. Addtionally, the cleaning system makes the charging base unnecessarily large (see below).

Panasonic ES8228 Electric Shaver with Cleaning System

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