America’s New Love: Midsize Pickups

2015 Ford Ranger

The Chevy Colorado can be credited with making midsize trucks in America relevant again.

Sure, the Toyota Tacoma and Nissan Frontier have been around since the 1990s, but the return of the Colorado, and its twin GMC Canyon, ignited a new love for smaller pickups.

Ford abandoned the market after the 2011 model year and sent the Ranger off to foreign lands, believing Americans would rather buy a base-level F-150 than spend similar dollars on a smaller truck.

Ford was flat-out wrong and is now in the process of bringing the Ranger back to the United States.

As midsize truck sales continue to rise, how well are they really doing and do their full-size siblings have any reason to worry?
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The Manual Transmission: “I Ain’t Dead, Yet”


Don’t drink beer out of green bottles, don’t forget to stretch, and always remember to write your grandmother a thank-you note. Along with these basic rules for success, when researching new cars, I’ve always eliminated options that were available only with automatic transmissions. Car enthusiasts argue over almost every imaginable detail, save this one. Perhaps it has to do with their beloved “involvement” with the machines that they adore, but manual transmissions have long been a unanimous preference for card-carrying members of the local gearhead union.

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

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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Aluminum: Best for Beer Cans or Trucks?

Did it collapse like a beer can?

Did it collapse like a beer can?

News of Ford’s use of aluminum in the body of the new F-150 shook the auto world in 2014. Some saw it as a revolutionary step in the evolution of the pickup truck, while others mocked the decision as an expensive experiment that would end poorly.

Competing brands touted the strength of steel and took issue with the high cost and questionable durability of aluminum. In an interview with Car and Driver, Michael Cairns, vehicle line executive for Ram, said,

It’s the best material to use for beer cans.

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Burning Oil in a Brand New Car


Burning oil in a 1973 Cadillac seems legit.

Drive an old boat like that around for long and you’ll stop at every gas station and put in a quart of oil. Worn engines simply burn and leak oil, often causing heavy smoke and the putrid odor of crusty black tar.

Drivers of those old cars don’t get too angry at the oil consumption because they know it just comes with the territory of having the pleasure of driving a Nixon-era automobile.

A 2013 car should never burn a quart of oil between oil changes.


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Should the Nissan Titan Still Exist?


When a Q7 feels small, you know you’re next to a big vehicle.

I forget sometimes just how big some trucks are, especially in areas outside of big cities. Every once in a while I venture into North Idaho and am surprised, each time, by how many pickups fill the parking lots of places like Costco and Walmart. Not just regular trucks like the average F-150, but jacked up rigs that reach a thousand feet into the sky and have tires big enough to flatten a Prius in one revolution.

The purpose of these trucks, I assume, is similar to why peacocks have massive feather displays: an effort to prove masculinity and win chicks. I’m not so sure that works in the human world as well as it does in the animal kingdom, but that doesn’t stop guys from trying.

Not just any truck, though, can qualify to be a massive hogger of rural American parking lots.

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Here’s the Slowest Car On the Road

2014 Chrysler Town & Country

I’ve discovered the slowest car on the road and wonder if this discovery is consistent across the country.

In my neck of the woods, there appears to be some kind of legal obligation to control the speed of these particular cars, probably in an effort to promote slower speeds in other drivers.

The actual result, though, is road rage. That’s especially true when stuck behind one of these cars when late to a party to view the NFC championship game.

I’m willing to bet that very few people have ever been passed by the slowest car ever: the Chrysler Town & Country. Here in Washington, the vans must come equipped with speed-limiting governors, legal contracts for slowness or drivers who lack the ability to put pressure on their right foot.

Whatever the reason, the one car you never want to see when you’re in a hurry is the Chrysler minivan.

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What Car Would You Recommend to Someone Who Doesn’t Want One?

2011 European Toyota Yaris

Believe it or not, not everyone likes cars.

I know, it’s crazy, but some people put up with vehicles only because they simply must transport themselves from one point to another. Not only that, there are even people who don’t own a car at all! You probably even know someone like that. He or she most likely swears by public transportation and refuses to own an automobile because it is “unnecessary” or “wasteful.”

Something must be done.

Popular Science posted a story about cars for people who hate cars, but that one focuses on futuristic concepts that are more iPhone or sound system than car. That’s all well and good, and young tech-focused people will surely love those cars, but what about cars for people who have sworn off the concept of owning a car? Is there anything out there for them?

Why yes. Yes, there is.

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Ten Grand or Less? Buy One of These!

2005 Dodge Neon SRT-4 4-dr turbo sedan

Have fun, save money, look good.

Isn’t that what we all want in a car? Sure, sometimes people want the boring stuff like practicality, cargo capacity and fuel economy, but that’s no way to live!

If you want to spend your $10K on something that no one looks at and offers as much excitement as a cantaloupe, well, you have plenty of options. Those, though, shall remain nameless.

If you want to spend less on a used car that makes a bold statement and offers some real fun, keep reading.

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Old GM Factory Site to Become Car Condos and a Racetrack

M1 concourse, Detroit

Now here’s some creative thinking on a way to revitalize one of Michigan’s saddest relics of automotive history.

An 80-acre tract of land currently lies vacant in Pontiac, after once housing 4 GM factories. With no hope of returning the area to an automotive factory site, one determined businessman has plans to turn it into a buzzing metropolitan hub, but with a twist.

While many planned developments include some kind of park or other open recreational space, this one might include something way cooler:

A race track.

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