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Archive for the ‘Domestic Cars’ Category

GM Offers Best Rewards for Military Service

May 21st, 2015

Corvette convertibleMemorial Day weekend fast approaches. It’s a great time for new and used car shopping with summer just around the corner. More importantly, it’s an important time to recognize the military men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Some automotive manufacturers extend special discounts to military personnel (and sometimes retired veterans) that might be worth considering if you’re shopping for a new car. Check their websites to find the models you might want. (The website MilitaryRates.com has a list of companies offering discounts.)

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Surprise! A Corvette Split Window and a ’67 Shelby GT500

May 18th, 2015

1967 Shelby GT500

There are some things you don’t expect to see when you seclude yourself deep in the woods for the weekend. Those things are:

  1. A cell-phone signal
  2. Air conditioning
  3. A perfect 1967 Ford Mustang GT500

This last weekend, deep in the forest of North Idaho and near the pristine shores of the expansive Lake Pend Oreille, my family and I saw all three. Plus, as an added bonus, a 1963 Corvette Stingray Split Window.

You’ve surprised me, Idaho.

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Toyota’s Partnerships: Good for Toyota, Good for the Industry

May 15th, 2015

2018 Toyota Supra

Toyota is one of the world’s largest automakers, but at least one of its coolest cars is the result of a partnership with another automaker.

Automotive partnerships don’t always work. One failure that comes to mind immediately is the Chrysler TC by Maserati.

I guess “failure” might be a little harsh, because the car does have its own club and plenty of fans. Those people see the car as misunderstood and elegant, while the rest of the world sees a Chrysler K-car with a spit-shine.

The TC lasted only three model years and cost close to $40,000 when new. That high price bought a Maserati body with a Chrysler engine, pretty much the worst from each partner at the time.

Toyota seems to have the partnership thing figured out, though, with at least three marriages to other major automakers. Will they fare better than the Chrysler-Maserati tie-up?

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Tesla: From Underdog to Insane Mode

May 14th, 2015

tesla-model-s-p85d

A few years ago the idea of buying an $80,000+ electric car that had limited range, few places to refuel, and no dealer network was a laughable proposition. To top it all off, the company that wanted to sell the car had very little automotive design or manufacturing experience.

Around the same time, one of the world’s top automakers had plans for a new electric car that promised to be affordable, good looking, and easy to take on a road trip anywhere roads exist without worrying about running out of range.

The winner?

Like we even have to say it.

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Will Chevy Follow Ford and Introduce Aluminum Trucks?

May 6th, 2015

2015-ford-f-150-04

Ford’s gamble with the aluminum 2015 F-150 could have ended two ways:

  • As an embarrassing failure
  • As a trendsetting new way to build trucks

Ram, with its little comment about aluminum’s best use being for beer cans, pretty much secured its future of steel bodies.

Chevrolet stayed pretty quiet on the issue, presumably to take a wait-and-see approach. Watching the new Ford keep its status as the number one truck in America, while scoring a 5-star safety rating, might have had a hand in convincing Chevy to join the aluminum body movement.

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GM Easily Wins Battle of the Big SUVs

April 29th, 2015

2015 Chevrolet Tahoe Suburban

Take a guess on how much money General Motors makes every time it sells a Tahoe. I’m not going to tell you yet, but I will say that knowing might change how you negotiate for the biggest of the big SUVs.

You probably won’t score much of a discount, though, because it’s those profits that help keep GM afloat and allow it to field entries in other, less profitable, markets.

The Suburban, Yukon, Escalade, and Tahoe make up about half of the full-size SUV market in the United States. There is some competition in the market, and prices can be incredibly high, which makes me wonder: Are GM’s SUVs selling because they’re great or because the competition is too expensive?

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We Want a Malibu That Looks Like the FNR Concept

April 24th, 2015

Chevrolet FNR concept

What you see above could be an early glimpse into what the 2065 Chevy Malibu might look like. True, it’s rare for an automaker to tease us with product that’s 50 years away, but I think Chevrolet has done just that.

For now, this is just a design concept that Chevy has dubbed the FNR and unveiled at the Shanghai Auto Show. I could try to describe its looks, but I think it’s best to let the pictures do the talking, because there’s just no good way to describe what is going on here visually.

How is it powered? I’ll let Gizmag explain:

The electric car is powered by magnetic hubless wheel motors and charged wirelessly. The driver starts the motor with an iris recognition system and can opt between manual and autonomous modes. A combination of sensors and a roof-mounted radar system analyzes the surroundings during autonomous driving, and a set of crystal laser head and tail lamps light the way.

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A New Standard of the World: the Cadillac CT6

April 17th, 2015

Cadillac CT6

If you heard the term “Standard of the World” 100 years ago, only one thing would come to mind: Cadillac. Fast forward a bit and you see the famed automaker enter a dramatic decline, followed by a powerful resurgence. Cadillac is going through a bit of a renaissance right now. Less than two decades ago, we saw the likes of the Cadillac DeVille roaming the streets. Sporting lackluster looks and even worse build quality, the DeVille is second only to the simply awful Cadillac Cimarron on the list of duds produced during Cadillac’s dark age. Thankfully, we have left those depressing days behind, and Cadillac is once again churning out pure gold in the form of cars like the impressive Cadillac CTS, comfy Cadillac Escalade and awesomely fun-to-drive Cadillac ATS. This fast ascent continued at the 2015 New York International Auto Show, where Cadillac unveiled the beautiful 2016 Cadillac CT6.

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Will Your Car Last 200,000 Miles?

April 14th, 2015

2015 Honda Accord

This used to be a fairly common rule regarding car ownership:

Get rid of it before it hits 100,000 miles.

In fact, I once knew people who firmly believed in trading in their cars before the 60,000-mile mark. They were a strict Chevy family, and experience told them that anything over 60K meant trouble.

Of course, that’s just silly today. Cars at 60,000 miles, regardless of the make, are barely broken in and can easily pass 100,000 miles and even hit 200,000 or more.

A recent list from Consumer Reports rubbed me wrong, because it announced the 10 cars most likely to make it to 200,000 miles. They all had one disturbing thing in common:

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Rusty Undercarriage? Don’t Blame the Carmaker

April 10th, 2015
Don't let this happen to your car

Don’t let this happen to your car

Bad things happen when brake lines leak. Who’s to blame when they do?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has wrapped up a 5-year investigation into the cause of rust on the undercarriages of about 5 million GM vehicles.

The problem has been the rusting of brake lines on 2007 and older Chevrolet, Cadillac, and GMC pickups and SUVs. Usually an investigation of this magnitude results in an expensive recall and the mandatory repair of affected vehicles.

This time the NHTSA let General Motors off the hook and blamed someone we can’t sue for the problem:

Us.

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