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Archive for the ‘Car Minded’ Category

2015 Ford F-150: Too Much Truck?

September 30th, 2014

2015 F-150 CrewCab

I think I figured out why midsize trucks are suddenly back in vogue.

Remember when the Ford Ranger and Toyota Tacoma were small? Back in the 1980s and ’90s, those small trucks were significantly cheaper than their bigger brethren.

By the 2000s, though, the Ranger faded away, and the Tacoma grew to the size of an F-150, and was often more expensive.

Now, the big trucks have grown even bigger, with price tags that are sending folks back to the comfort of something smaller. Yes, we have entered the era of the $47,000 truck.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , ,

Should Isuzu Have Another Chance at America?

September 29th, 2014

1990 Isuzu pickup

Our old Isuzu Rodeo rarely made it from home to school without breaking down.

We never did determine exactly why the Rodeo would lose power while cruising on the highway, but every time it happened we were able to pull off to the shoulder and restart the engine without trouble.

The process became a quirk of the car, which served me and at least one brother well in our college years.

The Isuzu didn’t last long in the family once college was over, because our view of the brand had soured a bit. In early 2009, the brand left the U.S. market for good.

Memories of that old Rodeo came back this weekend after reading that GM and Isuzu will team up to introduce a new pickup to the world. Will Isuzu try to come back to the U.S. market?

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs , , , , ,

Our 10 Favorite Truck Innovations

September 26th, 2014

2010 Ford SVT Raptor

When it comes to variety in vehicle choice, nothing beats a pickup. The number of trims and options available to the customer nowadays is staggering and may even seem overwhelming. But trucks are good like that: They evolve with customers’ needs. Aftermarket products often lead to manufacturer options and eventually become standard features. So we’re going to take a look at some of our favorite innovative pickup truck features that have arrived over the years. Of course, we have to go back a little ways to find out when some of these innovations first surfaced, but a lot of them have appeared within the last few years.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Classic & Vintage Cars, Domestic Cars, General Chat, Trucks & SUVs

Which of These Electric Cars Couldn’t Go Up a Hill?

September 26th, 2014
Hint: It wasn't this one

Hint: It wasn’t this one

There are some things all cars should be able to do:

  1. Go
  2. Stop
  3. Make it up a hill

Pretty basic, right? The only car I’ve ever driven that struggled to make it up a hill was a 1987 Subaru GL. That car, for whatever reason, barely had enough power to drive over the added elevation of stripes in a parking lot.

I mention this because last weekend I attended an electric car show and managed to take an up close and personal look at some of the EVs currently on American roads. All were impressive.

One couldn’t make it up a hill.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, Domestic Cars, Electric Vehicles, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , , ,

Should You Use an Auto Broker to Buy a Car?

September 25th, 2014

auto broker

The thrill of having a new car is rare enough in most people’s lives that it’s cause for a great celebration.

The process of buying a car, though, can be intimidating. It involves research, shopping, then finally negotiating a price and navigating a sea of dealer add-ons. Some people really enjoy the process, while others accept it as a necessary evil in car buying.

People who truly despise the process can turn to a broker for help with their purchase.

Advocates for using a broker like to use the argument that car dealerships are professionals at selling, so why not hire a professional at buying?

Makes sense, right?

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Car Minded, Car Shopping, General Chat , , , ,

The Cadillac of Big Sedans Isn’t a Cadillac… Yet

September 24th, 2014
Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

Cadillac Elmiraj Concept

There are two great ironies in this world.

The Cadillac name, throughout the ages of its existence, has survived as a stand-in for luxury, even as the cars themselves have lost much of their cachet over the years.

Today we see and hear “the Cadillac of such-and-such,” over and over, as the name stands for the highest attainable levels of quality.

That’s great irony number one. Today’s Cadillac models, while fine cars, aren’t associated with the best of the best.

Great irony number two is this:

There’s isn’t currently a “Cadillac of Cadillacs.”

However, that is about to change.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , ,

Should Toyota Build This Juke Rival?

September 23rd, 2014

Toyota C-HR

Toyota shouldn’t bother with the frivolous or deal with matters too far outside of mainstream acceptance.

The Toyota brand is about status quo. It’s about creating the cars that respectable middle-class suburbanites drive to their corporate jobs and to weekend retreats at friends’ lake places.

Toyota doesn’t do wild and crazy, because the people who own them don’t do wild and crazy. Yes, sometimes Toyota steps out and tries something a little more exciting, but at least in the United States, those crazy moments are disguised by a Lexus or Scion badge.

If shoppers want something really crazy, they know they can look to Nissan. But what if Toyota doesn’t want people turning away from the brand when they want to stand out?

Enter the C-HR Concept.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Foreign Cars, General Chat , , , , ,

Corvette Stop-Sale Raises New Questions

September 22nd, 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette

When you build cars, it’s kind of important to attach all the pieces.

Major automakers have figured out how to do this with impressive precision, while smaller companies can be forgiven for overlooking a small part.

But when the world’s largest automaker misses parts on its most important car, you just have to wonder what’s going on internally. Especially right on the heels of the company’s biggest recall ever.

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Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Safety, Car Shopping, Domestic Cars, General Chat , , , ,

10 Cars That Can Make Getting Stuck in Traffic Enjoyable

September 19th, 2014

traffic jam 788d2c4451aa43c4

Traffic is a universal awful. Anyone who has to commute to and within a major city knows just how much time and patience every rush hour consumes. And with the addition of continuous large-scale construction, these delays only escalate. Let’s look at a specific case study: Construction on Boston’s I-90 Prudential Tunnel has reduced lanes and caused congestion in both directions as MassDOT improves it. Knowing Boston construction timelines, or really planned construction anywhere, this will take a while. So if you’re driving through a massive construction project, or simply commuting through rush hour, you might want to consider the cars listed below. They have a comfort level and entertainment packages that can fend off the frustration of sitting in traffic. Most of these entertainment options are, of course, only for passengers. We don’t want any drivers taking advantage of the DVD system or WiFi. That could be dangerous or, even worse, cause even more traffic behind you.

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Car Lists, Car Minded, General Chat

2015 Ford Mustang: Better Than a Scion FR-S?

September 19th, 2014

2015 Ford Mustang

I think it’s safe to say that Top Gear is a respected and trusted source of automotive news and opinion. When the television hosts or blog writers give an opinion, the world tends to listen.

When I saw the headline that the British blokes had driven the upcoming 2015 Mustang, I prepared myself to read about Ford’s still-inferior performance, interior, steering, yada, yada, yada.

Instead what I read was an absolutely glowing take on the pony car that has taken 50 years to finally arrive on UK shores. That’s great for them, but what will it mean to Mustang purists here in the United States?

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