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Archive for the ‘Domestic Cars’ Category

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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How Well Do You Know Your Cars?

April 3rd, 2015
Hyundai_Mercedes_Badge

What model Mercedes is this?

We shall call them the Badge Swappers.

We’ve all seen these guys and gals on the road, hidden behind the steel-and-glass veil of their cars. Unlike the rest of us, who are proud of the cars we drive, the Badge Swappers try to convince the rest of us that they are driving something much more special.

Some people try to be blatant and pass their car off as a different brand entirely. Others are more subtle and adhere a performance badge to a base-level car.

Here’s the thing that the Badge Swappers must not know, though: The only people who would care about the badge are the people who notice the fraud. Keep reading and see if you can identify the car behind the badge.

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No Joke: Exciting Cars are Coming!

April 2nd, 2015
2016-Chevrolet-Malibu-005

2016 Chevy Malibu

 

This is the hardest time of the year to be a car blogger.

Like Black Friday sales, the jokes of April Fools’ Day are starting to creep into the day prior. This can make it very difficult to separate fact from fiction. Some stories this year were obviously so far-fetched that the odds of being real were virtually none.

A story about a Ford/GM hypercar was originally posted on March 31 (later updated to April 1) and managed to rile up bloggers and forums everywhere.

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Will Turbos Change the Auto Industry for the Worse?

April 1st, 2015

2015_Porsche_911

The cars of the future won’t fly. They will be road-going turbocharged gas-powered cars.

Well, in the immediate future, anyway.

As government restrictions on emissions and fuel economy get more stringent, automakers continue to accommodate by implementing turbochargers on vehicles that are traditionally naturally aspirated.

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The World’s First Luxury Compact Pickup?

March 30th, 2015

Mercedes-Benz pickup truck

I had to read the date a couple of times when I saw the headline. Stories that seem even slightly unbelievable at this time of year often catch vulnerable folks off guard if they don’t keep a keen eye on the calendar.

On April First of each year, car websites love to see how far they can push the limits of reality as they come up with stories later revealed as April Fools’ jokes.

But the story I read was published prior to April 1. Here it is late March, and news is spreading that Mercedes-Benz will build a pickup.

What could this mean?

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The Great Minivan Mystery

March 26th, 2015

Dodge Grand Caravan

There wasn’t a lot of outrage when Dodge decided that the Grand Caravan needed to go. There was a little bit of curiosity and maybe some shock from certain family-oriented car buyers, but no one threw much of a fuss about the news.

The death of the Grand Caravan signals the end of an era and echoes a changing attitude about family transportation. Minivans are becoming a smaller niche market as car-based crossovers and SUVs secure their places in the driveways of America’s suburbs.

Few people cried over the loss of the Grand Caravan because Chrysler would still sell its identical twin, the Chrysler Town & Country. For all intents and purposes, the Grand Caravan was dead.

So why then, out of nowhere, did spy photographers capture images of what appears to be a new Grand Caravan, cloaked in heavy camo, testing in the American Southwest?

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This New Cadillac Could Change the Luxury Game

March 25th, 2015
Could the new Cadillac CT6 look like this?

Could the new Cadillac CT6 look like this?

Cadillac has spent the better part of its existence in catch-up mode, breathing in the exhaust of Mercedes-Benz and wiping BMW’s tire smoke out of its eyes.

Cadillac doesn’t set the bar for luxury cars; it strives to attain the level set by other carmakers. It wasn’t always that way, of course. There was a time when Cadillac was, well, the Cadillac of luxury cars.

Those days are long gone, and the Cadillac of today plays second fiddle to BMW, Lexus, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and more. Its cars are reactions to competing cars, not proactive and innovative products that inspire the industry.

That could all change with the introduction of one car: the CT6.

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Will Driving Become Illegal?

March 24th, 2015

Tesla Model S Autonomous

The mile markers fly by, one every 100 seconds or so. Adrenaline rushes through your body as quickly as the wind passes through your hair.

You know you’re breaking the law, but you want to see how long you can get away with it. The rumble of the gas-fueled engine growls under the hood, and you can feel the sound in your chest as you push the accelerator pedal a little deeper into the floor.

No, the car isn’t stolen, and you’re not a suspect escaping from a grisly crime.

You’re just driving.

And driving is illegal.

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The Two Tiers of Luxury: Which Do You Prefer?

March 19th, 2015
"Tier 2" does not mean "inferior."

“Tier 2″ does not mean “inferior.”

Is a Lincoln as good as a Lexus?

Can an Acura take down an Audi?

Will an Infiniti be as good as a BMW?

There are two groups of cars in the luxury world: the ones that command respect and the ones that desperately want it. Automotive News breaks these down a little more formally, calling them the “Tier 1″ group and the “Tier 2″ group.

Tier 1 includes BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz. Tier 2 includes Lincoln, Acura, Cadillac, and Audi.

If I were making the rules, I’d put Audi up in Tier 1, because it has decidedly outsold the others in Tier 2 and has, in my humble opinion, eclipsed the quality level of BMW.

The Tier 1 group continues to establish its dominance, while the Tier 2 group struggles to maintain relevance. Are cars from Tier 2 worth considering?

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