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2014 New York International Auto Show Gallery, Part 1

April 19th, 2014

We came away from the 2014 New York International Auto Show so loaded with great images of fantastic cars that we wanted to put together a quick slideshow of some of our favorites for you. The show will offer a great time to car fans of any age, and as usual, it offers plenty of interactive fun as well as stands full of gorgeous new cars. Attendees can participate in the “Camp Jeep Ride Along” on an obstacle course or take a quick trip in Toyota’s fuel cell vehicle. Multiple simulators will keep gamers battling on electronic tracks, and Spongebob Squarepants will make an appearance.

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The New York International Auto Show runs through April 27th, and anyone interested in attending or keeping tabs on the excitement should check out the NYIAS app and look for the official #NYIAS hashtag in social media.

Which is your favorite car at this year’s New York Auto Show?

-hollerin

Car Industry News, Car Minded, Car Shopping, Car Shows, Cars Coming Soon, Domestic Cars, Exotic Cars, Foreign Cars, Hybrid Cars, Trucks & SUVs

Camry Now Thinks It’s a Lexus

April 17th, 2014
2015-toyota-camry-xse

Toyota or Lexus?

Can the most boring car in the world be transformed into something exciting?

When a car is meant as a reliable and practical mode of transportation, it inherently isn’t exciting. When a car winds up in as many¬†rental fleets as driveways, we can assume it’s not a car that’s driven by auto enthusiasts. While there’s nothing offensive about the styling of cars like these, they will never catch your eye, either.

Yesterday we took some shots at Lexus for pushing the design envelope too far, and now there’s news that the 2015 Toyota Camry is following the same path.

Can, and should, one of the most boring cars in the world be transformed into something exciting?

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Lexus Design: Better in the Past?

April 16th, 2014
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lexus_nx_front

Radical styling in a mass-market car doesn’t usually make sense, which is why it rarely happens.

Think of the Hondas and Toyotas of the world and you’ll conjure up visions of bland four-door sedans and efficiently shaped crossovers. They are fine looking automobiles, of course, but nothing that’ll cause whiplash in a passerby.

Hyundai and Kia started to change things with designs that demanded attention and helped justify increasing prices. Just compare a 2014 Optima with a 2008 Optima and you’ll see my point.

Over the years, Lexus fell into a design category perhaps best labeled as “stodgy,” with designs that imply subtle sophistication instead of head-turning aggression.

That began to change with the LFA supercar, and now some extreme design is trickling all the way down to the compact crossover segment.

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Who’s Ready for the 4-Cylinder Porsche?

April 15th, 2014

Porsche Boxster 4 cylinder

Can a performance car use a 4-cylinder engine and still be a performance car?

More specifically, can a Porsche use a 4-cylinder and still be taken seriously as a Porsche?

If I’m not mistaken, the last 4-cylinder Porsche was the 1995 968. It’s been said that no other car in history has inspired more conversations with the Lord, especially at highway speeds in the rain. A bit underpowered yet a challenge to control and with a ride that could graciously be described as “harsh,” the 968 soon gave way to the now-legendary Boxster. That’s the car that established the flat-six as the engine of choice for Porsche enthusiasts.

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iPhones Will Change How We Buy Cars

April 11th, 2014

new car purchase

I had a flip phone until about two years ago. You know the kind… the phone rang, I flipped it open to talk and slammed it shut when done. If I wanted to text, I pushed the individual number buttons until reaching the appropriate letter.

I held on to that phone through the introduction of the iPhone, then the second iPhone, then the iPhone 3G. I stayed true to my phone as the iPhone 4 came and went. Finally, when the 4S came out, I reluctantly caved in and committed to a new two-year relationship with the iPhone 4. It didn’t take long before I had to have 4S. Now I’ve got my eye on the 5.

I’ve fallen into the upgrade trap, which is now extending into the¬†world of auto retailing.

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Remember the Mister Two?

April 9th, 2014

1996 Honda Civic De Sol

Wouldn’t car names be a lot more fun if they had some personality in them?

Instead of seemingly random letters assembled together to sound nice, what if cars had friendly, respectable names that were easy to remember? It’s so hard to keep track of car names like SRX, MKZ, RSX, BRZ and XKR, much less distinguish them from one another based on their names alone.

Sometimes those names take on nicknames among enthusiasts, and sometimes they are simply misinterpreted and passed down into family lore.

One of those cars is the infamous Mister Two.

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Burning Oil in a Brand New Car

April 7th, 2014

oil_level_low_warning

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.

Right?

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Which U.S. Car Brand Should China Buy?

April 4th, 2014
Lincoln: Could it be sold to China?

Lincoln: Could it be sold to China?

When you and I go shopping for a new or used car, we start by thinking about the features we want, the brands we’re attracted to and the price we want to pay.

It’s a similar process when corporations look for a brand they want to acquire. The problem for corporations is that buying used is the only option and there’s a lot less inventory available. However, acquiring a brand is much easier than starting a new one.

Automakers in China have wanted a piece of the U.S. auto market for at least a decade, but have lacked the ability to break into the country.

Now, things are about to get serious.

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Farewell, Great Evo, and Good Riddance

April 1st, 2014

Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X

Mitsubishi sales are circling the drain. The carmaker hasn’t had a major commercial success since, well, ever. I can’t think of a single model that reviewers and consumers alike have lauded as the best in any class.

There is one car that has given Mitsubishi a huge dose of respect in this country: the Lancer Evolution. While every other Mitsubishi in the stable is pretty much a bargain-basement find shoppers settle for when they can’t afford a Toyota, the Evo, as it is known, is something special.

The Evo, a suped-up and turbocharged version of the homely Lancer, is the most extraordinary car Mitsubishi has ever built.

And it’s finally being killed off.

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Underdog Chrysler 200 Goes for the Win

March 27th, 2014

2015 Chrysler 200C and 2015 Chrysler 200S

We root for the underdog.

We want the Cinderella team at the NCAA tournament to advance to the Elite Eight. We want to see the #15 seed defeat the #2 seed, and we get excited when a 35-point football underdog pulls out an overtime victory.

In the automotive world, there is no greater underdog than the Chrysler 200. It has to overcome the stigma of being based on the Sebring, the constant deriding by reviewers across the land and the low-quality association of being a rental-car stalwart.

With the 2015 model, Chrysler and new owner FIAT know things have to change. In order to be a viable and profitable company, Chrysler simply must field a competitor to the top-selling cars in its class: the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and even the Nissan Altima.

This is an underdog story like no other.

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