Archive for the ‘Car Minded’ Category

Chevrolet Colorado Most Fuel-Efficient Pickup in America

November 13th, 2015

Chevrolet Colorado dieselThere’s an interesting battle going on to be the most fuel-efficient pickup truck in America. It’s interesting not so much for the fact that the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado 2-wheel drive with the Duramax turbodiesel engine is the winner.

Nope, what makes it intriguing is it turns out Americans do care about fuel efficiency, even with falling fuel prices. We don’t care so much how a vehicle gets fuel savings. We just want it to happen.

That’s according to a survey by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. It discovered in June that “[a] little more than half (52 percent) of respondents said it didn’t matter to them how a vehicle saves fuel and reduces emissions,” according to an article at the news site

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Watch Out, New Devices Roll Back Digital Odometers

November 13th, 2015


Analog odometers were a car staple well into the 1990s. They were unremarkable devices, but sure made the change from 99,999 to 100,000 miles a lot more fun because of that slow roll of the five zeros.

They were also fairly easy to roll back in an effort to commit fraud. Selling a car that shows 67,000 miles is far easier to sell than one that shows 102,000 miles, and unsavory sellers regularly partook in the dishonest behavior.

The switch to digital odometers made milestones less exciting, but it has also reassured used car buyers that the car’s mileage is accurate because rolling back a digital odometer is not possible.

Or so we thought.

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Don’t Call it a Comeback: Mitsubishi’s Still Here

November 12th, 2015


There’s one car company that has been on my “death watch” list longer than any other automaker.

This list has seen the likes of Suzuki and Isuzu die in the United States, as well as Hummer, Pontiac, and Saturn. I’m not 100 percent accurate in my predictions, though, because I also once had Buick and Lincoln on that list. Buick is now firmly off, but I still have some concerns about Lincoln.

The brand that I thought had the highest probability of disappearing is Mitsubishi, which has been in the top spot on my list for close to a decade. The fact that it has outlasted Pontiac still blows my mind.

With very little marketing and a product offering that impresses no one, the little Japanese company still manages to sell a car now and then. And rather than fold and move out of the market, Mitsubishi is preparing to step things up a notch.

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Does the Nissan IDS Concept Take Autonomous Driving Too Far?

November 11th, 2015

Nissan IDS concept

Some people went too far when Tesla released its Autopilot Mode on the Model S.

Owners are taking videos of themselves eating breakfast, shaving, and texting (at the same time) while Autopilot is activated. One reckless soul even hopped into the backseat with the Tesla at full control and relaxed while the car handled the driving.

It’s gotten bad enough that Tesla will take action. Elon Musk said,

There’s been some fairly crazy videos on YouTube… this is not good. And we will be putting some additional constraints on when autopilot can be activated to minimize the possibility of people doing crazy things with it.

Unfortunately, this could be a trend that doesn’t stop with Tesla. Case in point: the Nissan IDS Concept.

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Volkswagen Scandal Deepens, New Offer Made to Owners

November 10th, 2015


Things aren’t getting any easier for Volkswagen.

When the diesel emissions scandal broke in September, the problem was limited to 11 million vehicles equipped with the company’s 2.0-liter TDI engine. That alone was a crippling blow to the company that some estimates said could top $18 billion in damages.

The situation hasn’t improved in the weeks since.

Volkswagen, at least publicly, has done very little to let customers know how it will proceed in fixing the affected vehicles. In the meantime, the U.S. government has accused VW of cheating on additional vehicles, and Volkswagen itself has found another 800,000 cars that are probably affected.

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Too Late for Hyundai’s Genesis Brand?

November 9th, 2015


I have vague memories of the first time I heard the word “Lexus.” I wondered if a new car brand created by Toyota and given a funny name could actually compete with established juggernauts.

We all know how that turned out. Today Lexus is one the top-selling luxury brands in America and has established itself as a benchmark toward which other automakers strive.

It’s been 26 years since the birth of Lexus and now another new luxury nameplate will launch. Genesis, a brand to be launched by Hyundai, brings some of the same questions today that were asked of Lexus almost three decades ago: Can a mass-market automaker create a luxury brand able to successfully compete with the established companies?

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More Than Just a Refresh: Our 2016 Toyota Tacoma Impressions

November 6th, 2015

2016 Toyota Tacoma 2662350292231816912-640x480

The return to availability of GM’s Chevrolet Colorado and the GMC Canyon last year gave the midsize pickup market a shot in the arm. Long a staple in what’s now one of the fastest-growing segments in the auto business, the 2015 Toyota Tacoma suddenly looked outdated. For 2016, it had to be more efficient, more comfortable, and more refined.

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Unlikely Classics: More Than $20,000 for That Thing?

November 6th, 2015
$21,000 of fun?

$21,000 of fun?

Nirvana has become classic rock.

While scanning through my programmed radio stations this week, I came across “Come As You Are” and turned up the volume. I was surprised when the song ended and the station identifier came on and said, “Your classic rock station.”

How could this be? The classic rock station plays CCR and Led Zeppelin, not Nirvana. Then it occurred to me that Nirvana debuted a good quarter-century ago, which I suppose would indeed qualify its music as “classic rock.”

That hurt a little.

It reminded me of the changing face of classic cars as we cruise toward the year 2020. Classics aren’t the typical old ’66 Mustangs and ’67 Chevelles anymore—they include some vehicles I never thought I’d see on a classic car list.

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SEMA Vehicles Demonstrate What’s Possible in Future Cars

November 5th, 2015

We are in the midst of the 2015 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show running in Las Vegas. It’s the greatest collection of aftermarket parts and new carmakers anywhere in the world. Some great vehicles are presented at this show—some are simply outlandish, while others showcase what could be possible in future new cars, trucks, and crossovers.

Ignition Ford Edge
Ignition by Webasto Thermo & Comfort North AmericaOkay, so normally a crossover wouldn’t get your blood pumping, but the Ignition by Webasto brings luxury and performance together to make the Ford Edge, dare we say it, stunning? This Edge Sport features more aggressive handling while offering a comfort level associated with high-end luxury rides. It features carbon fiber components and performance-enhancing parts. It also boasts more power and tighter handling while including Webasto Thermo technology, which gives it a more luxurious feel. Our favorite feature would be the AG Luxury 22-by-9-inch wheels wrapped around Toyo Proxes rubber.

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Car Industry News, Car Lists, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Car Shows, Cars Coming Soon

Honda Civic Type R Coming to the United States… Eventually

November 5th, 2015
2016 Honda Civic Type R

2016 Honda Civic Type R

Today we have good news and bad news for you.

Here’s the bad:

If you live in the United States, you can’t buy the 2016 Honda Civic Type R. That’s bad news because the Type R is more than just a spiffed-up Civic. It’s a turbocharged 2.0-liter direct-injected VTEC 4-cylinder speed demon that spits out 310 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque at just 2,500 rpm. It comes only with a 6-speed manual and can rocket from 0 to 62 in 5.7 seconds while on its way to a top speed of 167 mph.

The car is based on the European Civic, which differs from the U.S. version, so there’s no chance it will be sold here.

But here’s the good news:

The 2018 version will.

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