It’s that time of year again. Well, not really, but we can certainly start looking forward to it. As the days get longer, the air gets warmer, and the smells get a little sweeter, it’s hard not to dream about one thing: convertibles. The snow hasn’t completely melted here in Boston, but what’s on the ground now is a far cry from the over 8 feet we’ve gotten this winter, and that completely justifies our looking months into the future.
Let’s spend a little time talking about grilles.
The face of a car defines its personality. Cars have been made and broken, praised and ridiculed, based on the front end alone. Failures include the famous Ford Edsel and, more recently, the Acura Beak.
Successes include recent Audi faces and just about anything with a BMW logo on it.
Truck grilles haven’t received a lot of attention, but one new model is at risk of falling into the category the Edsel invented.
The new 2015 Ram 1500 Laramie Limited needs to stand apart for two reasons, because the competition is fierce, and because it needs to distance itself from the Dodge brand.
Well, reasonable money, anyway.
Yesterday came news that another legendary rig would invade the shores of the United States and give the Wrangler some serious opposition. Could this new challenger make the aging Jeep look like a Tonka toy lost in a sand dune?
Who’s buying the Volkswagen Tiguan? That’s the first question.
Second, who’s buying so many of them that Volkswagen needs to invest a billion dollars in upgrades to the plant that will make the next version?
The 2017 Tiguan will be built in a plant capable of cranking out 500 of the crossovers per day. Sales figures for the past year in North America tend to average about 2,000 vehicles per month.
That’s a bit of a disconnect, don’t you think?
“Remember, we’re taking the greenhouse,” my wife said.
My heart fell to my knees. It was bad enough that we had to take the 10 years of stuff that had accumulated in the garage. I didn’t even want to take the living-room furniture.
Moving a couch is hard. Moving a greenhouse must be impossible.
We started our move two weekends ago, which is when the first mention of moving the greenhouse occurred. I’ve been putting it off, because people are meant to move to and from houses, not to move actual houses. And the greenhouse is, let’s not mince words, a house.
It’s a monstrosity that borders on being a permanent structure. Imagine a regular house, replace the walls with plexiglass, and you have a pretty good idea of the task that loomed before me.
The solution involved my brother-in-law, a friend of his, and two capable pickup trucks that made the task almost, somewhat, enjoyable.
Gas prices in my area are inching up again after getting into the dollar-and-a-half-per-gallon range. Today, prices at my local pump sit at around $2.15.
That’s still a far cry from the $4.75 I was paying not long ago, but not nearly high enough to make me consider giving up gas and going electric.
The consensus is similar for consumers across the nation, as electric cars haven’t made much of a dent in sales so far this year. The price premium on new electric cars just doesn’t make the investment worth it.
What about the used market, though?
There’s a wide range of EVs available used now and some of them just might offer the savings that budget shoppers desire.
Yes, we’ve wished for better fuel economy and better interior quality over the years, but the Wrangler is one of the vehicles you just don’t mess with. It has its shortcomings, like all cars, but they are all overlooked and accepted as quirks by the most fervent of fans.
One influential website, though, has committed an act of blasphemy and included the Wrangler on a list that no buyer wants to see a potential car on: The Worst Values on the Market.
We thought we would follow up our Today’s Most Popular Cars From the 1980s list with its logical sequel: ’90s cars. We looked at our data again and determined which ’90s cars garnered the most interest from CarGurus shoppers. We have to say, this list surprises us a bit less. The ’80s list featured a good number of discontinued cars, but only one car no longer in production made this one. Nineties cars are probably a bit more practical than some of the nearly ancient ’80s models (cars on this list are likely at least 11 years younger), and most of these cars haven’t quite reached collector status.
Trucks and diesels go together like salt and margaritas. The two just belong together, but in the United States there’s been a wedge in the relationship. What’s kept the high-torque long-lasting diesel engine from the majority of the truck market here?
Money, of course.
All the big bad-boy trucks here have diesel options. Ford, Chevy, and Ram all offer oil-burners made to handle the biggest of the big truck jobs.
But what about the casual truck guy who just wants to tow his boat to the lake under diesel power, but doesn’t want to buy a massive pickup for the job? That guy has some options now.
But not from Toyota.
A friend of mine had a beautiful, low-mileage Honda Pilot for sale.
This is the kind of guy who keeps the paperwork on everything he buys and has required service performed at the recommended intervals and only at authorized locations. He buys reasonable, practical items, but only gets the top-of-the-line versions of them.
Let me give you an idea of what kind of guy this is. When I purchased a used hot tub from him, he handed me a manila folder with every piece of paper it came with and receipts for every service and part, sorted by date. And laminated.
So when this guy sells a car, the buyer gets a pristine example of what a used vehicle should be.
When he told me he wanted to sell his Honda and get a Kia, my reaction was two-fold.