Testing a car on a race track is a patently different experience than testing on back roads. It’s true—there are some details you simply can’t derive from a track test. It’s difficult to gauge how the car’s suspension will handle rough pavement (poorly paved race tracks are, thankfully, few and far between) or how the car’s mirrors will mitigate blind spots (if you’re checking your mirrors on a track, you’re doing something wrong). But for each closed circuit’s shortcomings, it offers one major benefit: With today’s powertrains, the only place you can legally find the limit of a car’s power, its grip, or its brakes is on a track.
Tesla is becoming the Apple of the car industry.
Well, the Apple of five years ago, at least. We have to go back to when the tech giant routinely innovated with new hardware and then challenged the rest of the industry to catch up. (Apple’s recent diss of the audio jack doesn’t count.)
Tesla has almost singlehandedly made electric cars cool and has forced other automakers to invest in building luxurious and sleek electron-powered vehicles.
Wednesday night, Tesla made another bold move and announced that all of its cars, including its least expensive Model 3, will come capable of full, Level 5, self-driving autonomy.
Automakers love the media attention they receive when one of their vehicles passes the million-mile mark.
It has happened a handful of times to the likes of Volvo, Toyota, Saab, and Chevrolet. Sometimes the owner of a million-mile car gets special treatment by the automaker and occasionally even drives away with a brand new car.
Of course, most cars self-destruct long before reaching the million-mile mark. Many don’t even crest 200,000 miles, and most owners start thinking that it’s time for a new car sometime after 100,000 miles.
Automakers face a conundrum of sorts because they want their cars to be long-lasting, but also want to make money by keeping people coming back for new cars. So how long should a car last?
The Jeep Commander has earned a spot on our list of the best “dead” cars to buy, but its successor might be worth waiting for if you have the desire for a luxury SUV that carries the name of a Jeep with a legendary past.
The Commander was supposed to be Jeep’s answer to the Chevy Tahoe and other large 3-row SUVs, but its dismal fuel economy sent owners and potential buyers running. The SUV probably would have been a success if it debuted in 2000, but the high gas prices and uncertain economy between 2006 and 2010 led to the Commander’s demise.
Now that we’re in more stable times, Jeep has decided that it’s time to try again, only this time it’ll be with an all-new Grand Wagoneer.
With Halloween around the corner, CarGurus investigated some discontinued car models to find whether or not there were any “zombie cars” lurking around the website. Sure enough, we discovered that while most vehicles experience a drop-off in customer interest once they’ve been discontinued, some stick around, generating plenty of interest while haunting our listing pages.
A car grabbed my attention from about four lengths ahead on the highway coming into downtown. A Bentley? No, it didn’t have the right rear end. A Rolls? Definitely not.
Once I got closer I realized that the car was a new Lincoln Continental and looked darn good cruising among the mass of plebeian automobiles on the highway. So good, in fact, that I had to wonder when the last time was that a Lincoln caught my attention and demanded a double-take.
Okay, in all honesty, the last time it happened was with the MKT, a crossover SUV of exceptionally unfortunate proportions. The Continental, though, turned my head for all the right reasons. Seeing that car, paired with the recent release of the Genesis luxury brand, got me thinking that the luxury market suddenly looks a lot more interesting than it did even a year ago.
Everyone knows someone who regularly gripes about “the end” of the manual transmission, uncovered V8 engines, and our ability to get away from it all. We prefer to drive with a stick, thank you, but we know manuals aren’t always faster, cheaper, and less expensive anymore. And while we love the sound and power of a V8, a turbo four can go a lot farther on a tank of gas and lets a driver get more value out of the car’s stereo. And we think our newfound inability to really escape has more to do with smartphones and the Internet than the advance of car technology.
So we’re going to take a look at some new and different cars that mark big changes we hope all drivers can agree are positive. We’re not sure they’ll end up on as many high-schoolers’ bedroom walls as the GTO Judge and the Lamborghini Countach did, but we expect to see plenty of them on the road, and who knows which 2016 might just become a sought-after collectible to today’s hipsters.
About a year ago, I bought a Porsche.
I probably should have listened to my father-in-law, who has raced Porsches and owned roughly eleven 911s. This guy has experience and told me that I’d probably regret the purchase.
“Getting an older 911 is risky,” he said. “They are expensive to maintain and repair, and there will always be something that needs to be fixed. Don’t do it. Get a Miata or something instead.”
Well, me being the defiant, brand-driven, performance type didn’t care much for that advice. So I went out and bought a 2002 Porsche 996 911 Targa. Those low-slung Porsche looks, that Stuttgart logo, and the trademark purr of a Porsche engine were all it took to convince me to sign up for more than just a couple years of Porsche payments.
I should have listened to my father-in-law.
What if there were no more small automakers?
The automotive world continues to consolidate, and large automakers either push the smaller ones out of the market or swallow them up as part of an expanding empire.
It’s not too hard to imagine a world without small car companies, because they don’t have much of a presence in the United States. Suzuki left the market, Mitsubishi is a small player, and Subaru is only popular in cold climates. A few supercar manufacturers and startups exist to serve a tiny niche, but most of us are never influenced by their success or failure.
Recent news from the Toyota and Nissan camps demonstrates that carmaker consolidation shows no signs of slowing down.
That headline might have served as a teaser to get people to click just a few short years ago. In today’s world, though, technology advances at the speed of light, and a ban on internal combustion engines is a very real possibility.
Granted, it won’t happen overnight, and any such ban would be phased in over many years, but the wheels could already be in motion thanks to the speed at which electric vehicles are being developed.
For proof, all we have to do is look across the Atlantic toward the homeland of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz.
Yes, Germany may become the first country to ban the sale of cars with gas-powered engines.