Questions and Answers About Winter Tires

November 25th, 2015

Snowy roadWinter weather has already started its sloppy march across the northern parts of the United States. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late for some winter tire advice.

Why do you need winter tires? The fast answer is handling. Well-designed winter tires have deeper treads than summer or all-season tires. (The latter, by the way, are really three-season tires if you live in the snow belt.)

Winter tires’ deeper treads help them deal with snow and the icy precipitation that creates slush. An interesting side benefit of winter tires is that they improve traction by packing snow in those treads for better grip on snow.

Also, winter tires are designed with tiny slits in the treads (or as Bridgestone calls them “snipes”). These provide biting edges on ice that help with acceleration, deceleration, and stopping.

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The Convertible SUV: Why Does This Keep Happening?

November 25th, 2015


Who buys a convertible SUV?

The SUV is meant to be a cargo-ready family transport vehicle that can traverse through nearly any weather.

Convertibles are meant to be summertime cruisers for couples on weekend road trips.

No one meant for the convertible and the SUV to hook up and produce a monster. It’s like combining tuna and ice cream, two things that are fine on their own, but together… just… no.

There’s a new convertible SUV about to hit the market, and it’s just as unnecessary as the previous ones.

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Despite VW Troubles, Bugatti Chiron Marches On

November 24th, 2015


Would you want a hypercar that can knock the wind out of passengers?

We could argue that the hypercar era was ushered in by the 2003 Ferrari Enzo, then secured with the introduction of the Bugatti Veyron. Some might even say that McLaren brought us into the world of hypercars with the 1992 F1.

The last decade has seen a veritable explosion of hypercars, and the next one from Bugatti could be the one to knock the wind out of all of them.

Assuming there’s a priority to build it.

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Chevrolet Sweeps Car of the Year, Truck of the Year Awards

November 23rd, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS

It’s a good time to be Chevrolet.

The automaker won two of the industry’s most sought-after awards as its all-new Camaro sports car won Motor Trend’s Car of the Year and the Colorado diesel truck won the magazine’s Truck of the Year award.

It’s not unheard of for one company to take home both awards in the same year, but it’s not a common occurrence either. For Chevy to do it now, at a time when some of the best cars and trucks the world has ever seen are on the market, is quite remarkable.

Plus, there’s at least one more trick up Chevy’s sleeve that could secure it even more hardware for an already packed trophy case.

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Depreciating Darlings: The 10 Best Used-Car Bargains

November 20th, 2015

2012 Dodge Grand Caravan

As soon as a brand new car leaves the dealer’s lot, the depreciation phenomenon commences. There are plenty of reasons to spring for a new car with an empty odometer, of course. They come with great warranties, include the latest technologies, offer the buyer peace of mind with regard to the vehicle’s history, and, naturally, they come with that wonderful new car smell. However, to paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes and your new car depreciating as soon as the rubber rolls of the lot.” We took a look at the data and found that although some cars quickly lose value for good reason (looking at you, Mitsubishi Galant), there are others that actually become pretty great deals. If the smell of organic materials off-gassing is of paramount importance, feel free to pay the premium for your brand new car. If you don’t mind waiting a few years, however, we’ve picked 10 vehicles that offer incredible value on the used market.

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Some of Our Favorites from the Los Angeles Auto Show

November 20th, 2015

LA Auto Show logo

Auto-show season has kicked off with the Los Angeles Auto Show. It runs through Nov. 29 at the L.A. Convention Center. The show hasn’t generated a lot of buzz, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t include significant debuts. Here are some notable new cars from the show (in no particular order).

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Do You Own One of the Most Unreliable Cars?

November 20th, 2015

2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

How badly would you feel if you spent tens of thousands of dollars on a car, only to have it in for repairs nearly as often as you spend behind the wheel?

People buy certain brands for their known reliability, but even some of those aren’t exempted from a new article about the 20 most unreliable cars from Consumer Reports.

Interestingly enough, nowhere on the list are those vehicles traditionally panned for their unreliability. There are no Jaguars, and there are no Land Rovers. There aren’t even any electrics.

The list is dominated by American brands, with a few Japanese and Korean brands, and is made up of sports cars, SUVs, economy cars, and luxury cars.

Below are some of the more surprising vehicles on the list. Do you own one?

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Faraday Future: An Automaker in Disguise?

November 19th, 2015
Who is behind Faraday Future?

Who is behind Faraday Future?

The first electric cars were invented in the 1880s but only began to quietly infiltrate the car market this decade. It has taken well over 100 years of fossil fuel usage, and one major diesel crisis, but electric cars are finally beginning their reign in the auto market.

Read through the history of electric cars and you’ll read about gas-electric hybrids, a Porsche electric, and the struggle to create better batteries at the turn of the 20th century. Electric technology was clean and the cars were easy to drive, yet electric technology gave way to gasoline and development in the electric field completely stopped for a long time. Today we’re picking up where electrics left off, albeit with a century of improved automotive technology behind us.

This time the world is ready for electrics. At least that’s the hope for a new electric automaker with deep pockets and ambitious dreams. The question is, who is it?

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Karma Automotive Comes Back With Swagger

November 18th, 2015


It’s about time that a little shot of arrogance gets injected back into the auto industry.

There’s been a lot of apologizing lately, with the whole Volkswagen fiasco and an unending string of recalls. Where’s the company that comes in and unapologetically announces its wares and walks with an air of confidence while proudly showing the cars it knows you just have to have?

There’s only one currently doing that. Well, okay, maybe two. We could make the argument that Tesla fits into that description, but today our attention turns to another electric automaker. This one had an epic launch failure in recent years, but its new owners have revamped it into something it knows you want. And if you don’t want it?

This company has absolutely zero cares to give.

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Chinese Buick Envision Seems Headed to U.S.

November 17th, 2015

Buick Envision chinese-spec-rear-three-quarter-02

Yesterday came some praise for the United Autoworkers Union because of its part in steering Ford towards producing a much-hyped new generation of a well-known pickup and SUV in the United States.

Today, the union may have some negative influence on a GM plan to introduce a new, economical Buick CUV to the U.S. market.

Typically the union would be all for a new model, because it would employ people and keep factories moving. This Buick, though, wouldn’t be built in the United States. It would be built in (and imported from) China.

Back in August we reported about the possibility of a Chinese-built Buick Envision CUV being sold here. The UAW lashed out immediately. Cindy Estrada, UAW’s vice president in charge of GM talks, said:

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